Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Making it up as I go {fun with dinner}

When I got home from work today the only thing I was feeling motivated to do was make dinner {mostly because I had hamburger in the fridge that was going to expire soon} so I immediately started making dinner.

The hamburger in the fridge was already formed into patties for hamburgers but I knew I wasn't going to be able to make those tonight so I just broke them up into pieces in a frying pan and browned it for spaghetti sauce. I cooked it with chopped onions, mushrooms, minced garlic, and italian seasoning.

I thought I had a can of fire roasted tomato sauce in my pantry but it ended up being a creamy basil parmesan sauce. I wasn't sure how that would taste with hamburger but I didn't have anything else so I added that to a sauce pan with a can of italian tomatoes. Then I added the hamburger, mixed it up, and let it all cook together on the stove at a low temperature.

I started cooking some Barilla Veggie rotini (it has a full serving of veggies in it!) and while that was boiling I sauteed fresh spinach, thinly sliced zucchini & squash in olive oil.

I toyed with the idea of being really healthy and serving the meat sauce over the veggies alone without any pasta but decided I needed wanted some carbs so I compromised and used a small amount of pasta and sauce with a lot of veggies and I mixed it all together!

After taking this picture I decided to add halved grape tomatoes which was a really nice addition. The meal ended up being really good and has kept me full all night without being too heavy, even with the hamburger, creamy sauce, and pasta.

I haven't played around with my cooking like this in quite a while but it is my favorite way to make a meal. Plus, I always feel good when I make a balanced meal that has a lot of veggies. I don't think my husband would have liked this meal but he's working out of town so he wasn't here. If he had been here he could have had his pasta and sauce together with the veggies on the side.

I had plenty of leftovers and can't wait to eat them tomorrow for lunch!

{Housewife-ly update: I cleaned my kitchen, family room, hallways, laundry room, and bathroom tonight! It was a really good night! I love a clean house so much, I wish cleaning came naturally to me because I'm always so happy when it is done! If I do it enough though I'm hoping it will become a habit!}


Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Weekly Meal Plan + what we ate tonight {photo}

I will be gone this upcoming weekend so my meal plan is shorter than usual.

Take a look at what we're having...

Hot dogs & tacos are regulars around here. They are easy, cheap, and filling! I'm really excited for the bacon avocado grilled cheese sandwiches. They have all my favorite things: bread, cheese, bacon, avocado... does it get any better?

Tonight we had the salmon for dinner. It turned out really delicious & only took 30 minutes to put together. I love quick & easy dinners!

Breaded salmon, olive oil & garlic couscous, sauteed onions and portabella mushroom, & cheesy garlic bread

What a great meal to start the week!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Quick WalMart Grocery Haul! {photos}

I needed to stop in at Walmart today after work to pick up a few things. It has been a week since I did our big grocery trip and I still have everything I need for dinner but I was out of things for breakfast, extras for lunch, some snacks, and quite a bit of produce. We also needed water bottles and puppy food so I made a short list. Here's what i got...

-28 pack of Nestle Pure Life water bottles

-1 head of romaine lettuce
I've really enjoyed making salads lately for lunch at work. I take whatever leftover meat we have from our dinner the night before (grilled chicken, ground beef taco meat, etc) and put it over lettuce with chopped veggies, lemon, & some kind of dressing.

-1 bag of frozen fruit (strawberries, peach, mango, &a pineapple)
-organic baby spinach
I picked these up for making smoothies. I'm so excited for warmer weather!

-Shredded mozzarella cheese
-4 pink lady apples
For breakfast at work

-5 bananas
For the smoothies

-H.K. Anderson cheddar cheese pretzel pieces
-Mini Pretzels covered with chocolate and butterfinger
Snacks for my husband and I.

-Lean Cuisine chicken ranch club flatbread melt
-Lean Cuisine salad additions in southwest style chicken
I got both of these to have for lunch at work. I've had the flatbread melt before and it was really food. I'm excited to try the salad mix

-Cinnamon Brown Sugar belVita breakfast biscuits
I was really surprised how much I liked these the first time I bought them. The come in packs with four biscuits in each pack and they are really quite filling. They are similar in taste to a graham cracker. They have different flavors but Cinnamon Brown Sugar is my favorite

-3 cups of Tillamook Lowfat French Vanilla Yogurt
-Great Value Medium Chunky Salsa
-1 package of cherry tomatoes (or maybe grape tomatoes... I can never remember the difference)

This trip came to a total of $51.00.

It'll have been 2 weeks since my last big Walmart trip before I need to go to the store again which means over two weeks I spent $200.00 on groceries. We budget a little over $400.00 month at Walmart (for not just food but all of our household items & pet supplies) so I'm right on track!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

{around the farm}

there's nothing better than an afternoon at the farm
i love it here

i can't imagine us living anywhere else


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A night to myself + what I made for dinner!

when i got off work yesterday i was feeling really tired and preparing myself to not get my to-do list done (yeah, that's a great way to get things done... NOT)
i arrived home to find that ruby had completely shredded her april barkbox. she ate two entire bags of treats, a bully stick, and a liquid treat that was supposed to be served frozen. plus she totally shredded to bits the cardboard box, tissue paper, and cards/inserts. this isn't the first time she has shredded a package. she does it a few times a month. we don't really know what to do to stop this behavior since we aren't at home when it happens.

after cleaning up her mess all over the lawn i came up with the idea to put a plastic tote at the gate to our front yard with a sign asking the mailman to place all packages in the bin away from the dog. i typed up, printed, and placed signs in sheet protectors. i taped some to the bin, some to the gate, and one to the front door. it doesn't look nice by any means but perhaps it will save my online purchases from death by shredding by dog... we'll see

after finishing that task i was tired and discouraged and frustrated with the dog so i came inside, turned on youtube, and watched my new favorite kinds of videos. {grocery haul, spring cleaning, housewife/stay at home mom vlogs, etc} my husband called me at about 6:30 and told me he had to stay out of town for work and i was going to have the house to myself tonight.

at about 7:00 i decided to grill chicken and veggies for dinner. on my meal plan i'd intended to make couscous and garlic bread with dinner but since my husband wasn't coming home i decided to go a bit healthier and stick to only the chicken and veggies. i've never used the grill by myself before so that was a little nerve wracking and it took a while but i did eventually figure out the grill and cooked my dinner! 

the weather was so nice while i was grilling that i stayed outside and played fetch with ruby. i wish we'd had our patio furniture out because it was nice enough to eat outside. after i finished cooking i cleaned up before sitting down to eat and watch a few more youtube videos. 

one of my favorite things about this new genre of video i've been really in to watching is that instead of only feeling motivated to buy makeup (which is this phase i've been stuck in for 3 years) these videos motivate me to clean, organize, get off my butt and take care of my house and be a better wife. i need to constantly push myself to clean, cook, organize, etc. it does not come naturally to me at all. but watching these videos of people who do excel at cleaning and their housewife duties helps me find the motivation to do the same.

when i finished eating i took care of my dishes, let the puppy in, took out all the garbage, straightened up my bedroom, and made my lunch for tomorrow. i played with the puppy for a little bit, did my nighttime skincare routine, and got in bed.

i didn't have a wildly productive evening but i did enough that i don't feel like the night was a loss. 

i also went over my planner for the next day and my menu plan and blog schedule for the rest of this week. i've been trying really hard to schedule out my time after work each day (i leave for work at 7:00 and get home at 4:30) so that i don't come home and waste away my evening. i love planning and writing lists and that is one thing that helps me get my work done around the house. in the winter i share a lot of the household responsibilities with my husband because we both work full time and then don't have a lot going on in the evenings but in the summer he works his regular 9-5 job and then goes straight to the farm and works until the sun goes down so i take on most if not all of the household work.

that was pretty much my whole night but before i go, want to see how my dinner turned out?

if you were wondering... i marinated boneless skinless chicken breasts in teriyaki sauce and minced garlic for a couple days. while i grilled the chicken i basted it with more teriyaki sauce. i cooked the veggies in a grill basket that was a gift from my parents last year. before putting them on the grill i tossed the veggies with olive oil, sea salt, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes.

it was delicious!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Small Grocery Haul

After doing my weekly grocery shopping at Walmart I saw there were a few good sales at my local grocery store so I stopped in and picked up a few more things.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Cook with me: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

The other night I made philly cheesesteak inspired sandwiches for dinner and thought I'd take you along and show you how I make them. I don't have a recipe I just make them up as I go.

The ingredients...

Onion Ciabatta Kaiser rolls (or any kind of rolls or buns)
Angus Roast beef, thickly sliced
Provolone cheese (or swiss, or mozzarella, or cream cheese... whatever I have on hand)
Green Bell Peppers
Worcestershire sauce
Seasonings (whatever I feel like salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, pub burger seasoning, garlic... you can really do whatever you want)

I also used olive oil to saute veggies, spray olive oil when toasting the buns, and mayo on the finished sandwiches.

1. Heat olive oil in large skillet to saute vegetables

2. While the oil heats thinly slice vegetables

3. Saute vegetables

4. While that's cooking chop up roast beef

5. When the veggies are beginning to soften and look a little like this...

6. add the roast beef

7. add the worcestershire sauce (a few tablespoons or several depending on how much you like)

8. Throw in the seasonings. (salt & pepper not pictured)

9. Mix it all up and cook on low

10. Prepare the rolls. Sometimes I use butter but this night I sprayed olive oil on them

11. Add your cheese and place in the oven just to melt the cheese and toast the bread

12. Once everything has cooked down, smells delicious, and tastes even better ('cuz I know you snitched some) it is ready!

13. Load up the buns!

14. Go crazy and add more cheese! Then stick them under the broiler for a few moments. Just long enough to melt the cheese.

And voila! Dinner is served!

I served it with Caesar salad but it would also be good with fries or fruit or both!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

My weekly meal plan!

As I mentioned in my grocery haul I always plan our meals for the week before I go to the grocery store. Some weeks I feel motivated to cook dinner, try new recipes, and I really look forward to making my grocery list. Other times I just want to make grilled cheese sandwiches and pretend that's a balanced meal. Lately I've been doing a lot better about making dinner and am actually excited when dinner time rolls around each night.

I have an ambitious meal plan for the next week without any really easy nights but I've been more committed lately to not letting any food in our fridge go to waste which is helping me find the motivation to make the food I've planned for the night.

Take a look below at what we have on the menu...


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Walmart grocery haul

one of my new favorite things to watch on youtube is grocery hauls and meal planning so when i got home from walmart i decided to do a video of the things i bought. i'm also writing a post of my meal plan for the next week and a half. first up, the groceries.

i like in a small rural area. there are two small grocery stores and a walmart. i do the majority of my shopping at walmart but it is 30 miles round trip so i can't just run to the store whenever i need something. my solution was to plan out everything my husband and i will need for the next week to a week and half and buy it all at once. i plan our dinners and what ingredients i will need and don't already have. i plan quick easy breakfasts and lunches for the work week and something more fun for the weekend (unless we're going out which we like to do on the weekend). then i make a list of the household/random things we need (it is walmart after all, you can get it all). this includes toiletries, cleaning products, cat and dog food, things for the car, things for projects, etc.

once i have my whole list i rewrite it in the order that i walk through the store. i hate having to backtrack and i feel like this makes the trip go more quickly.

once i have my list i'm ready to go. take a look at what i bought and stay tuned for my meal plan coming up next!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

April 2014 Ipsy Bag

I'm so excited to show you what I got in this month's Ipsy bag! March's bag was disappointing (and only had 4 products instead of the usual 5) so I was very pleased after opening this one.

ipsy is a monthly subscription service that costs $10 a month and comes in a unique makeup bag and 5 full or deluxe sample size makeup, beauty, and hair products

I don't always love the bag but this months isn't too bad. it is a nice size and the material seems like good quality. The navy color is really pretty.

Here's an overview of everything from the bag...

Probably the most exciting item was 
Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet glide-on eye pencil in Black Velvet

I was also thrilled to see this next product
Cover FX mattifying primer with anti-acne treatment 

I've never tried this brand before but I've heard of it and only good things! This product is perfect for me because I have oily acne prone skin. I can't wait to give this a try!

Next up is a lip gloss...
MaryKayAtPlay jelly lip gloss in Teddy Bare

I really like the color of this gloss. It's a nice sheer/natural nude that make it very versatile. But I noticed from the swatch that it is very sticky. This likely means it will be very long lasting but at the same time it isn't very comfortable on the lips... we'll see though. I'm still exciting to try it, just not on a windy day with my hair down...

I saw this product in other people's bags a few months ago and wanted it so bad! I couldn't believe it when I opened my bag and there it was!

Demeter roll on perfume oil in Jasmine
This stuff smells amazing and is quite long lasting. I used it for the first time today and could smell it through almost the whole word day.

And finally....

City Color Mousse Eyeshadow in White Gold  

This is a really interesting product that I think I'm going to like. It is a mousse texture like the name says but once it sets it is slightly tacky which I imagine will make it a great eyeshadow base. Plus, it stayed on my hand even after I washed them so I know it will be long lasting.

Here's the swatch before blending...

And here I've blended it out as I would on my eyelid

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I got in my bag this month. Definitely $10 well spent!