Thursday, March 5, 2015

Currently, Vol. 6

Well, it has been two weeks since I've done a currently! I was so sick for two whole weeks then my kiddo had her "early spring break" and now I am still fighting something in my chest...but I am still operational, thank goodness!

 Enjoying....all of the sun we have been having! It has been soooooooo nice! I am also 

enjoying the flowers I am seeing popping up all over! 


This was my 3rd day in a row of sunglasses!

These flowers are amazing. There are all different sorts popping up all over in all different colors. It is make the city very vibrant.


Attempting....to get back on track with healthy eating. Less sugar, less treats. Not doing half 

bad so far, really enjoying the salads I have been making lately, I think my body was greens deprived.
This is my favorite salad lately...arugula, other green of choice, tuna, cottage cheese, avocado, apple, onions, and tomato with a drizzle of balsamic and some salt and pepper.

Shopping....just for groceries this month. We are spending on nothing but the necessities, so 

that is all we are buying.

Excited about...the upcoming night away hubby and I have planned. Should be fairly 

romantic...cute little dutch town planned around a castle. Can't beat it.

Quote of the Day...Not really a quote but more a series of statements I try to live by.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 2015 #10

 Last week's menu was pretty successful for the most part, we took lots of snacks to Belgium and threw out a couple of meals in favor of leftovers! ha! My workout schedule was not successful, I tried a couple of days, but coupled with all the sight seeing we were doing and still not being 100% apparently I had to abandon my plan and listen to my body.

Let us move on to this week!

Workout Schedule
  • Sunday: Yoga
  • Monday: 3 mile run, fit tutor
  • Tuesday: Insanity workout
  • Wednesday: 2 mile run, fit tutor
  • Thursday: Yoga
  • Friday: 3 mile run, fit tutor
  • Saturday: Insanity workout
Weekly Goals
  • Meal plan, prep, and stick to it.
  • Bike to one cultural event.
  • Create four items to list in Etsy store.
  • Complete 4 hours of Dutch practice, and try and conduct one meeting with a Dutch person in Dutch.

Weekly Menu
Breakfast
  • Sunday: Cheese Crescents with fruit salad
  • Monday: Smoothie bowl
  • Tuesday: Quinoa Oatmeal (Thug Kitchen Cookbook)
  • Wednesday: Eggs with sweet potato
  • Thursday: Quinoa Oatmeal
  • Friday: Eggs with sweet potato
  • Saturday: Eggs, pancakes, sausage
Lunch
  • Sunday: Snacks/Leftovers
  • Kiddo: Sandwich with cucumber and orange slices x2
  • Kiddo: Leftovers x2
  • Kiddo: Buy one time
  • Me:
    • Monday: Grilled chicken with Italian cabbage salad
    • WF: Chicken Salad
    • Tu/Th: Tuna Salad
    • Will Have a potato and leek soup to go with the meal each day (didn't get to this last week)
  • Saturday: Panini's with Veggie Soup
Dinner
  • Sunday: Tacos/Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Burritos with side salad and apple-pear (once upon a time this said broccoli-pear sauce, I meant apple-pear, that is what I get for writing while hopped up on cough medicine! ha!) sauce. We are having a dinner guest and will serve for dessert Stroopwafel and coke floats!
  • Monday: Coconut-lime rice with red beans and mango (a meal I didn't get to last week)
  • Tuesday: Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf with side salad and apple-pear sauce
  • Wednesday: Roasted cauliflower/chicken wings for the hubby, corn, fries, green beans
  • Thursday: Zoodles with creamy tomato sauce and chicken (optional), from 21 Day Sugar Detox cookbook; Chicken carbonara for hubby served with a side salad for everyone
  • Friday: Leftovers/breakfast for dinner
  • Saturday: Create something fabulous out of the leftovers, date night for the hubby and I, we will probably go for a movie and walk depending on the weather.
Snacks



What are you eating and planning this week?

P.S, Join in on the parties over at Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers, and I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March 2015 Goals

I didn't really set any specific goals for February and I feel like the month was a crap-shoot. I fell off my workouts after being sick for two weeks. I kept eating decently most of the time so I suppose that is something. This month though I really want to be focused and get a lot done.

  1. Focus on Dutch. I have been here nearly a year and still can't understand anything beyond basic greetings, "Do you want a receipt" (which I only know because of the word "bon"), and some gibberish I can't understand that is, "do you want a bag?" I want to know more than this so I am really going to get back on it.
  2. Stop watching so much Netflix and get back to reading. I have so many wonderful books I wanted to complete this year so I will be focusing on reading.
  3. It is March and getting warmer I will run at least 3 days a week incorporating Fit Tutor as well as Insanity Asylum Vol. 2. To hold myself accountable I will be posting on Instagram, so follow me there and let me know so I can follow you too! 
  4. Clean eating.
  5. Focus on creating inventory for my Etsy shop and post at least one new item every other day.
  6. This is the big one so I saved it for last. We have really been trying hard to save money and focus on getting ahead. A while back I read about this 31 day no spend challenge so we are going to attempt to complete it. Things we will have to do differently are:
    1. We will have a weekly grocery budget as we do not have a stock pile or stocked pantry/freezer so we will have to buy groceries weekly as usual
    2. Meals will first and foremost be planned around anything in the freezer/pantry to ensure those items are used in a timely manner.
    3. No prepackaged products will be purchased, most everything will be real whole foods made from scratch. 
    4. We are going out of town as we have a weekend away pre-planned but we will have a budget and will not spend on souvenirs and we will bring our own snacks, breakfast items, and water bottles.
    5. The kiddo and I will ride our bikes as much as possible instead of the train. there will be a once a week exception for cheer, but otherwise we need to get comfortable going longer distances on our bikes.
    6.  Date nights out of the house will still happen but will need to be creative and find fun, free/cheap things to do, each date night will have a spending cap if we feel the need to spend.
    7. Do a daily post of what we did that day, and how much we spent, if anything.
Spring is on its way and I really want to feel like I am accomplishing the things I aimed for this year, so this month I will be crushing goals! What goals are you focusing on completing?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 2015 #9

Welcome back to another Menu Plan Monday! I probably should change the name of these since I am often publishing them on Sunday's now. Anyway, this weekend was one for relaxing, for me anyway. I've had the never ending cold as I told you about last Wednesday, but am finally nearing the 100% recovered point.

This past weekend we didn't do a ton. Friday night we all relaxed around the house and had a nice family dinner together. Saturday the kiddo and I did some shopping at the Albert Cyup Market. We had an impromptu stop at Starbucks because it decided to start pouring rain, then hail, then snow, then it stopped haha But how pretty does she look here?



Completely sums up our Saturday, cocoa and trains.

Once we made it to the outdoor market I found fresh, only peanuts as the ingredient Peanut Butter. I know some of you out there will understand.




My favorite food purchase was this dried bunch of lavender. I intend to make some bath salts with it as well as trim up the stalk part for fresh lavender tea. Anyone else have some ideas? Please share them with me in the comments! They had a lot of these so I am fine with going back and buying more!


Saturday night we did something we hadn't done in ages and ordered pizza since I was exhausted and we decided to cancel our date night.
It was terrible and I doubt we will order pizza in again.

Sunday the kiddo headed off to cheer and coffee with her friends. I did the grocery shopping and meal prep.

In the evening hubby had a dinner with some work friends and the kiddo and I decided rest was on our agenda so we relaxed and watched Gilmore Girls.

This week coming up is "Early Spring Break" for the students here in the Netherlands so we will be doing a lot of sight seeing in our city as well as going to Brussels for a day, my workouts will be light since I am still recovering and we will be doing so much walking I figure as long as nutrition is on point I should continue to rest.

Workout Schedule:
  • Monday: Fit Tutor, week 3
  • Tuesday: Pull ups/pull up training, squats, stretching
  • Wednesday: Foam rolling after sight seeing
  • Thursday: Fit Tutor, week 3
  • Friday: Jog/walk to get back in to things
  • Saturday: Fit tutor, week 3, stretching
  • Sunday: Pull ups/pull up training, squats, stretching
Weekly Life Goals
  • Finish updating resume
  • Apply for a few jobs
  • Get Etsy shop ready to go live on Mar 1
  • Finalize Berlin itinerary, making appointments at monuments that need scheduling in advance
My goals this week are fairly simple since we have such a busy planned with the half term break going on. I can't wait to post all about the things we will be seeing during this break. My menu will look a little weird this week too as we will be eating out a little more than usual.


Breakfast
  • Monday: Eat out
  • Tuesday: Smoothie bowls
  • Wednesday: Oatmeal power bowl
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes (from Thug Kitchen cookbook)
  • Saturday: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes and eggs/sausage
  • Sunday: Cheesy crescent rolls (these have become a family favorite)
Lunch
  • Monday: Sandwiches for a picnic
  • Tuesday: Eat out
  • Wednesday: in Brussels, will stuff our bellies with waffles and chocolate ;)
  • Thursday: Soup and panini's
  • Friday: Potato leek soup
  • Saturday: Eat out
  • Sunday: Snack on bread, smoked meat, cheese, fruit, and leftovers
Dinner:
  • Monday: White bean and red lentil burgers/regular burgers for the hubby, with root veggie fries
  • Tuesday: Chickpea and broccoli burritos(from Thug Kitchen Cookbook)/tacos for hubby and salads
  • Wednesday: Veggie pad Thai with Tofu (from Thug Kitchen cookbook)/teriyaki beef and rice for hubby
  • Thursday: Leftovers or breakfast for dinner
  • Friday: coconut lime rice with red beans and mango (Thug Kitchen Cookbook)/smothered chicken with fries and corn for hubby
  • Saturday: Date night for us/leftovers for kiddo
  • Sunday: Chicken wings/cauliflower with peanut sauce, rice, veggie sticks
Snacks
  • Maple-oat banana bread
  • Rosemary sea salt almonds
  • Earl grey lattes
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Raspberry breakfast bars
During our travels I am going to bring along as many snacks and lunches for us as possible. I purchased a great mini-rucksack for traveling that allows me to carry two water bottles and is completely waterproof. Details to come after this week, I hope it is a winner and really helps us in our travels.

Are your kids on Spring Break yet? Or thanks to all that crazy weather in the US did they just get an impromptu break?

Check out these great parties over at Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers, and I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Compassion in the right place, at the right time #1000Speak

Compassion is something I have been thinking of a lot lately. This particular venture of #1000Speak has made it more prevalent in my mind, but my daughter goes to a school where many of the teachers tend to lack compassion for their students, this disturbs me. However, hearing how many of these teachers deal with students from my own child and other children and parents got me thinking about the times people have shown compassion to me in my life.

I have a story, it is a very personal story. It is about an event at the beginning of my marriage, of really my life as I will come to know it, where the compassion comes from two different sources. Part comes from my fabulous parents, the other from people who are total complete and utter strangers whom I feel were put at this exact spot, at this exact time just for me. Many of you have never heard this story, even if you are very close to me. I have kept this even somewhat secret mostly because once my mother reads this she will probably call and yell at me, but it is an event that occurred 15 years ago and I had to use instinct to determine if it was an okay situation to put myself in....so, enough with the mystery...read on.


My husband and I were married when I was 18, he was 20. Fast forward, we have our daughter and in March of 2000 he gets stationed temporarily in California, not anywhere amazing like LA or San Diego, but Lompoc. Yes folks, Lompoc, California. Most of you probably don't even know where in the hell that is, nor should you. I didn't...and honestly, I didn't care.

Having spent 19 years of my life in the great state of Florida with little major traveling I was anxious to get out. I had always had a bit of wanderlust since Geography in the 7th grade and I knew that one day I would leave Florida and move to another part of the continent if not the world-I know, my poor mother.

So, as soon as this station happened I knew I wanted to go. This was for school for him so technically I wasn't "allowed" so we used our tax return to make the move and supplement our income. I knew I probably should have stayed back in Jacksonville, my home town, but I didn't know where the next station would take us. My entire life I had dreamed of seeing California, going to Disneyland, seeing many of the things I had seen on television and in magazines that had got my imagination going. So, come hell or high water, I.Was.Going.

My mom, she was sad. Not only had I married, moved out, and had a baby really young, but now I was literally moving across the country. But, she is a big person and even said her and my dad were really proud that they had raised children who weren't afraid to strike out on their own and make their dreams come true. So, mom showed me how to woman up and really helped me get ready. She helped me move out of my apartment, stored all of our household goods, and got me organized and ready to travel by train across the great US with a 4 month old.




So, lets recap. I'm 19, not even married a year, have a 4 month old, traveling by train to California.

My mother really did it up for me and the kiddo. She bought me a nice carry on bag, she bought me plenty of formula, lots of bottled water, baby food, and tons of my favorite snacks and juice boxes (don't laugh, I was still 19 ;)). This was incredibly kind and is something I have never forgotten.

Once we are on the train (mind you I had to kick my father off haha), we traveled and I actually ran into a girl I went to high school with who had left years before. So funny where life brings you, so we traveled together until Texas. I then met a nice older couple that I had breakfast and dinner with whose story was somewhat similar to mine. She kept telling me what an adventure my life would be...she was right ;)

After arriving in Los Angeles, we were 8 hours behind schedule. This older couple helped me load my luggage and the gentleman ran ahead to let the next train know I was on my way over and not to pull out, I load up on that train and a couple of hours later get off at the Lompoc train stop.

I step out and I see behind me Pacific Ocean and in front of me...CORNFIELDS!!! The first serious WTF moment of my life. So, I start to load up on the bus to go into town and am told it is full and I need to call a cab. Stress level rising.

I go to the pay phone (it is 2000 people) and the cord to the phone is cut.

So, to recap I am in the middle of freaking no where, the last bus of the day to town is full and I can't call anyone. Oh yeah, and I have a 4 month old!

I start looking around quite panicked begging the bus driver to let me on or come back or give me a phone when a nice little old lady walks over and asks me what is wrong. I am half sobbing half yelling because I have no idea what I am going to do. All I could think of is what sort of mess have I managed to get myself in to.

So she takes me by the shoulders and brings me to meet her husband, they calm me down, get my story and tell me a bit about themselves. They were there because apparently, this was the best place in the city to see the sunset. After a bit they offered to take me to the base-my end destination.

The 80's child in me freaked. Millions of missing child posters flashed before my eyes; runaway train played through my head. All I could imagine is my mother screaming and yelling at me, but I was sort of out of options. Unless some other people with a cell phone or a taxi just happened to come out to see the ocean after the sunset I was going to sit at that train depot (with no attendant this was tracks and a platform, and a broken payphone) outside in the middle of cornfields by myself all night. So, I explained how hesitant I was. They understood and had a cell phone they said I could call a taxi or to save some money I could hold on to their cell phone while they drove me to the base. I called a phone number to make sure the phone worked and graciously took their sweet offer to drive me to the base. After talking with them for nearly an hour I felt no fear, no bad vibes.

Off we went and they gave me a tour of the area around the base and when we pulled up turns out this guy was well known on the base they let us on through and he dropped us right in front of the dormitory my husband was living in and let me use the phone to call inside and let him know I was there.

I was such a mess, those people did not have to help me, but they did. I have always remember the love and compassion I felt that day. The only thing they wanted in return was for me to pay it forward someday. I still haven't done my pay it forward deed, but someday it will come and I know I will know that moment, until they I try to be compassionate to everyone I meet and know they are fighting some sort of battle and know a little compassion can go a long way to help them through their tough times.





Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 2015 #8

So, I won't lie, I started this post Sunday, but didn't get past the first sentence and inserting a couple of images. I have been so incredibly ill since last Tuesday. All I really managed to do was boss around the husband and teenager, watch Netflix, and go see a couple of movies...both of which I was so tired I almost fell asleep during them...but honestly Jupiter Ascending was just terrible and even hubby ranked 50 Shades as the better movie :P

So, now that I am feeling a bit better I will say the kiddo and hubby have kept this place running and have done whatever I request. They have sat through a many night of cereal or leftovers from the freezer for dinner or picking something up. I really appreciate the break but I am so ready to feel better.



Last week I accomplished nothing outside of catching up on Mad Men, catching up on Downton Abbey, starting House of Cards, and drinking insane amounts of Sleepytime Extra tea.

The rest of this week here is what I would like to accomplish:
  • Type up itinerary for a day in Brussels
  • Get back into light workouts
  • Cook dinner each night 
  • Plan a fun, but easy date night depending on how I feel
Workouts
Since I got sick I only got in one workout from Week 2 of my Fit Tutor workouts so I will pick those back up and do some heavy walking and light jogging maybe.
Thursday: Walk around downtown with my friend, kiddo is out of school early so we will do a bike ride when she gets home to the forest
Friday: Day 1, Week 2 Fit Tutor, Walk
Saturday: Day 2, Week 2 Fit Tutor
Sunday: Day 3, Week 2 Fit Tutor, Walk


Breakfast:
Thursday: Currant toast with peanut butter and bananas for the kiddo, creamy oatmeal for me
Friday: Currant toast with peanut butter and bananas
Saturday: Omelettes, bacon, toast, fruit
Sunday: Cheese crescents

Lunch:
Thursday: Apple-pb wrap with orange slices and chips for the kiddo, I will eat out
Friday: Superfood Crunch Salad with a slice of chicken breast, kiddo will eat out
Saturday: Panini's with veggie soup and salad
Sunday: Easy snacks: baguette with a new dipping sauce I found, smoked meats, fruit slices, cheese

Dinner:
Thursday: Glazed Pork Chops/Lentil burgers with home fries and green beans
Friday: Steak bites with gravy/black bean balls with carrots, wilted kale or creamed kale and potato rounds
Saturday: Date Night! If I feel good we will go down to an area of town we haven't explored much and grab dinner and go to a comedy show that is in English, if I still feel like I should rest (which will most likely be the case) we will just grab dinner and go for a walk around the canals downtown if it is nice, if it is crummy weather we will see a movie and get dinner at a nearby pub.
Sunday: Chicken Wings/cauliflower "wings" with salad and root veggie fries


This week is coming at you late, but at least it is all planned out. What have you been munching on this week?

Check out the parties over at Mommy Run Fast, Jill Conyers, and I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Currently, Vol. 5

Man, I am finally starting to feel human again. It has been a week and a day since I came down with this cold, managed to get conjunctivitis for the first time in my 34 years on Earth, and now I just have an awful cough and a runny nose. So, I am finally making my way back to the blogging world!

I thought I would start with the Currently series that Becky at Choose Happy hosts to catch you all up on what I have been up to!

Loving.... all the sun we have been getting...it has been beautiful the last few days..it was just what I needed to get me through the rest of the winter blahs that are headed our way!


Thanking... my husband for being amazing to me on Valentine's Day. We normally don't do a lot, but I was sick this year so he bought me a dozen very colorful, very happy roses and wore our cheesy couples pacman shirts I made us without complaint ;)




Counting down....to the trips we have planned...so far Brussels  with friends next week during Early Spring Break, and Berlin coming up at the end of April! I am so excited we are blessed to be able to do all the traveling while living over here.

Organizing...itineraries and closets! Weeding through clothes we need/don't need or things we need to replace and trying to figure out a dry cleaning schedule for all of our jackets. We all only have one winter jacket and they need a good cleaning so not sure how we will swing that!

Watching....lots of things! haha I just caught up on Mad Men, I caught up on Downton Abbey, and now I have started on House of Cards on Netflix...it is fantastic. Really enjoying it, hubby will be happy when I am caught up so we can watch season three when it comes out.



Celebrating....finding this gem at the drug store. It isn't easy to find but I finally asked someone at the store. She didn't 100% understand what I was looking for at first but eventually we figured it out hehehe She told me to take some of this...cough syrup, it does have codeine in it but she said they didn't have anything else milder that would help me sleep at night so I will take it. I am pretty sure I am one solid night's sleep away from being better so I am hopeful this is the answer to that! haha

Eating...cereal for dinner tonight lol but this is what I am planning on cooking from next week

I was so excited to find this because in the US they are having a hard time keeping them in stock, but I was wandering through Waterstones, our local American Bookstore that has the best selection and found it. I was so totally stoked and snatched it right up! Can't wait until I feel better and want to cook out of it!

So, what are you up to currently?