Feb 08

Weekly Menu 2/9 – 2/15

I’m back at it!  So going forward with my meal plans I’ve decided to make a few changes.  I’m busy, I mean aren’t we all??  And making a new meal every night is a bit much for me so, my plan is to try at least one new meal each week and keep the rest to simpler stuff…recipes that are familiar to me and ones that are less prep work and I’d love to throw a crock pot meal in when I can.  I had to remind myself that things don’t always have to be fancy schmancy or uber complicated to be healthy and delicious.

Valentine’s Day is coming up…yay!  I love making these holidays special for the boys 🙂  This year we’re doing a little party with the daycare kiddos on Friday and then I plan to surprise the boys with some fun healthy treats on Valentine’s Day morning.  I also have a fun asian-inspired dinner planned for them.  They looove going to Chinese restaurants to eat so, I thought why not make a few yummy dishes and ‘pretend’ we’re out to eat!  I’m going to get them some chopsticks and even a few fortune cookies as a special treat!  I’m excited about it 🙂

Crockpot Black Beans

Crockpot Black Beans

Okay here ya go, here’s our menu for this week…

MONDAY – Honey Mustard Chicken (this is a super simple, yummy recipe that I will post after I make it so I have pics to share with you 🙂 ) with steamed green beans and Balsamic Roasted Carrots

TUESDAY – Paninis (We’ve gotta use up that sourdough bread I got Chris from Costco!) with deli meat & cheese, spinach, tomato & avocado with a side of fresh veggies (carrots, baby tomatoes and sliced cucumbers)

WEDNESDAY – Tuna Casserole with mushrooms and peas (I made this last week and the fam loved it!  So this week I’m making a few small changes in hopes to make it even better and then I’ll share the recipe with you 🙂 )

THURSDAY – Chicken Fajitas (chicken with red & orange peppers) using this Taco Seasoning with Crockpot Black Beans

FRIDAY – Leftovers

SATURDAY – Asian Lettuce Wraps (from my 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook), Baked Spring Rolls, edamame and Asian Brown Rice (also from 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook)  Plus a few fortune cookies as a special treat!

SUNDAY – We’re going to Chris’s Dad’s house for dinner!

Vanilla Almond Granola

Vanilla Almond Granola

Yummy treats for the week…

And there you have it!  I hope you have a great week 🙂

Feb 06

Back to Menu Planning

I’m not sure if you noticed, but I took a break from my menu planning this week.  And oh my goodness do I miss it!!  Not only was I scrambling at dinner trying to figure out what to make almost every single night, I am totally out of many of my go to foods so, I’ve had to get creative with our meals.  Anyhow, it’s back to menu planning for me!  I’ll get busy with that during nap time today 🙂

I need to hit up Costco this weekend as we are also out of many staples…coconut oil, peanut butter, honey, etc.  I went to bake some muffins this morning and well that’s not happening haha.  I love Costco, do you shop there?  I plan to be a pancake making, muffin baking machine this weekend as the freezer needs to be restocked.

I love this quote and it’s sooo true!  Even though our fridge is a bit bare right now, at least the stuff still in it is good for us.  We may have a picnic-y lunch today (a little of this and a little of that), but it will all be good for us ya know.  I mean that’s the most important thing I think.

good food

So what do ya make when you’re running out of food?  Tuna casserole!  Yep, that’s what’s for dinner tonight.  I’ll be putting some mushrooms and peas and making a homemade cheese sauce…it should be yum.  Vann loves tuna and gets excited every time we eat it!  And the other two love pasta so it’s a win-win lol.

Another easy go to meal when you’re fridge is getting empty or you’re short on time is breakfast for dinner.  The kids love that one!  We had it last night actually…strawberry oatmeal, pokey eggs, and some orange & apple slices 🙂  A few other ideas are grilled ham and cheese, quesadillas, turkey and cheese roll ups, stuff like that…all paired with some fresh veggies and/or fruit and you’re good to go!

How about you?  What is your go to meal when you’re short on time?

Jan 26

Weekly Menu 1/26 – 2/1

I’ve got another weekly menu for ya!  I had the boys help me this week which was kinda fun 🙂  My oldest is very interested in cooking these days which I love.  He’s learning how to cook eggs, he likes chopping veggies for me and he likes to help me get lunch ready for all the kids by making sandwiches or whatever…he enjoys it and I’m all about it!

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up!  Are you a football fan?  I’m totally not into sports, but Chris is and every Super Bowl he makes his amazing Green Chile.  Like this chile has won contests before…I’m not kidding.  A few of his friends have managed to get the recipe outta him and they made it for work events and it’s won a few times!  Anyhow, the stuff is kinda the bomb-diggity.

Spinach and mushroom frittata

Spinach and mushroom frittata

Okay here it is!

MONDAY – Paninis with deli meat, cheese, tomato & spinach and cherry tomatoes, carrots and sliced cucumbers on the side

TUESDAY – Slow Cooker Maple Dijon Pork Chops with brown rice, roasted broccoli and carrots

WEDNESDAY – Tuna Patties with a lemon herb Greek yogurt dip, baked parmesan tomatoes, stuffed mushrooms and kale chips (My oldest son picked this menu!)

THURSDAY – Breakfast for dinner!  Spinach and mushroom frittata (I made this last time we had breakfast for dinner and it was delish!  I plan to write the recipe out this time and then I’ll share it with you 🙂 ) with Chocolate Banana Muffins (My middle son picked these out!  I will use honey instead of sugar.) and sliced apples

FRIDAY – Leftovers

SATURDAY – Roasted chicken with steamed green beans and salad

SUNDAY – Chris’s famous Green Chile 🙂


Kale Chips…I’m telling you these don’t look all that yummy, but they so are!

Yummy treats for the week…

Hope you have a fun week!!

Jan 24

Turkey Parmesan Meatloaf

I made this meatloaf the other night for my fam and let me tell you it was a humongous hit!!  Like I’m talking thank goodness I portioned my piece out first because the three boys ate the entire rest of the meatloaf by themselves!  Chris just happened to be at a dinner meeting that night and when he got home there was zero, zilch, nada for him to even taste.  It.was.that.good!


So, first things first.  The sauce.  I have been making my own sauce for a few years now.  I don’t even remember the last time I bought a jar from the store…it’s been a long time.  It took me awhile to ‘master’ my sauce.  Lots of just okay pots until one day after reading many many recipes online I discovered two secret ingredients…cracked fennel and sugar.  Yep I use white sugar in my sauce!


The Sauce

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 TBSP white sugar
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cracked fennel
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

So here’s whatcha do.  Saute your onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes till the onion gets a little translucent.  Then add the rest of your ingredients…tomatoes, spices, all of it!  Stir it up, cover and let simmer on low for an hour.  You will want to stir it every so often during that time.  Honestly, it really only needs to cook for 30 minutes so, if you’re short on time keep that in mind.  But I prefer to let it simmer for an hour or so…so the flavors really combine.

This sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge till you need it.  It also freezes super well!  I like to make a double batch so, I have some for dinner and then some to freeze for another day.


Next up the meatloaf!

Adapted from this recipe

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely diced sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup of the sauce from above 🙂
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

Combine the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and Parm cheese in a big bowl.  Mix well.  I like to get in there with my hands so it gets incorporated well!  Then put the mixture into a loaf pan that’s been spritzed with olive oil.  Press it down into the corners and flatten it out a bit.  Top with 3/4 cup of sauce using the recipe from above.  Bake for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Take it out and top with your shredded white cheddar cheese and pop back in the oven for 10 more minutes or until the cheese is all melty.  Then enjoy!!

DSC_0108Next time I make this I will make two loaves for sure!  The boys loved it and all three were begging for seconds and even thirds lol.  Makes me happy when that happens 🙂  We ate it with a side of steamed broccoli and fresh veggies (carrots and baby tomatoes).  It would be wonderful with any green veggie or even a yummy salad 🙂

Let me know if you make it and how your fam likes it!


Jan 20

21 Day Fix Extreme is coming soon (It’s here!)!!

It’s no secret, I heart 21 Day Fix…a lot!!  It was the 1st Beachbody program I purchased and the one that was a game changer for me when it came to my nutrition.  I have eaten healthy foods for quite some time, but I was never eating the correct portions of these healthy foods.  The 21 Day Fix program helped me figure all that out…and it was super easy!  So easy that one year later I am still using the food plan and colored containers on a daily basis…for reals!!


So check it out…the creator of 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese, is releasing a brand new program…21 DAY FIX EXTREME!!  To say I’m excited for this program is an understatement.  I am so ready to be challenged with both her workouts and her no excuses food plan!

FEBRUARY 2, 2015…this is the big day!  Here’s the deal…I’m going to be running a challenge group for those who are ready to rock this new program.  Do you want to join me?!?!  If so keep reading for more details 🙂  And remember to FILL OUT THE FORM at the bottom!  The challenge group starts on February 16th!!


The goal of 21 DAY FIX EXTREME is to get you some serious results in only 21 days.  You will be working out 30 minutes a day with a blend of exercises that targets every muscle in your body to help get you shredded fast!

You will not only be eating portioned meals using the colored containers…there are no treats or cheats in this program.  It’s called EXTREME for a reason!  But don’t let that scare you!  It’s only 21 days…you can do anything for 21 days 🙂  It will be intense and challenging, but sooo worth the killer results!!

This program is perfect for 21 Day Fix graduates who are ready for the next step.  Also those who have completed programs like Focus T25, P90X and Insanity would love the challenge of this Extreme program.  People without much weight to lose who want to get shredded and see their abs and for those who are ready to take their nutrition seriously and don’t want to count calories.  Sound like you??  Then this program is for you!!  Keep scrolling to FILL OUT THE FORM on the bottom 🙂

21 dfe 3

Here’s a sneak peek of what the 30 minute workouts will be like…

  • PLYO FIX EXTREME – An explosive lower body workout using jumping and resistance to torch calories & sculpt muscles.
  • UPPER FIX EXTREME – This workout alternates working opposing muscle groups that will shred the chest, back, shoulders, and arms.
  • LOWER FIX EXTREME– A challenging resistance workout to tone your glutes, thighs, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
  • CARDIO FIX EXTREME – This workout combines weighted cardio moves with traditional training intervals to keep your heart rate pumping.
  • DIRTY 30 EXTREME – This workout uses only seven compound moves focusing on several body parts at a time that will burn extra calories while defining muscles.
  • YOGA FIX EXTREME – A fast-paced yoga workout combining strength, balance, flexibility, and power.
  • PILATES FIX EXTREME – This intense mat workout, works the entire body while placing emphasis on the core…this one uses a resistance band!
  • POWER STRENGTH EXTREME – This workout contains nine total-body exercises that will help you increase strength, endurance, and power.  (available in the Ultimate Package)
  • ABC EXTREME – This one targets common problem areas by working your abs, butt, and cardio to the extreme.  (available in the Ultimate Package)
  • THE FIX CHALLENGE – Burn off calories and keep you on your toes with this quick resistance workout.  (FREE when you order from your Team Beachbody Coach…don’t have a coach…sign up here to make me yours 🙂 )


So what do ya think?!  Does this sound like a program you want to challenge yourself with?  Let’s do it together!  Join my 21 DAY FIX EXTREME Challenge Group!!  I will help you through the entire 21 days keeping you motivated to push yourself through the workouts and to stay committed to your nutrition.  I will give you recipes, tips and accountability.  It will be awesome!!

My 21 DAY FIX Challenge Group starts on FEBRUARY 16th!  If you want to be a part of it please FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW!!  You can also contact me on Facebook…just click here!



Jan 19

Weekly Menu 1/19 – 1/25

It’s weekly menu time!  I really do enjoy having my meals all planned out each week.  And my kids like it too!  My oldest knows he can look at the calendar each day to see what’s for dinner…I love it 🙂

I am finding that I may need to include two days for leftovers though instead of just one.  We do eat leftovers for lunch most days, but the fridge still really seems to get packed with them throughout the week.  And I don’t like wasting food.  Which is why I am moving a recipe from last week to this week yet again!  Anywho, I figured I’d keep posting 6 different recipes so you have plenty of ideas to choose from for your weekly meals 🙂

I love our wall calendar!!

I love our wall calendar!!  This is where the fam looks to see what’s for dinner 🙂

Okay here ya go!

MONDAY – BBQ Chicken Salad (with this BBQ sauce and a homemade Ranch dressing) with fresh fruit

TUESDAY – Chicken Parm Meatloaf (I am making my own sauce and will post the recipe hopefully next week!) with steamed broccoli and salad

WEDNESDAY – Lemon Chicken Piccata (I plan use only 1/2 the butter in this recipe) with Roasted Beets and carrots

THURSDAY – Spaghetti & Meatballs (I will be using my sauce and this meatball recipe) with whole wheat pasta and Baked Parmesan Zucchini 

FRIDAY – Leftovers

SATURDAY – Honey Sesame Chicken with brown rice, sugar snap peas and carrots

SUNDAY – Pulled Pork with coleslaw and Baked Carrot Fries


And here are a few fun snacks I hope to make…

As always if you try any of these recipes let me know what you think!  Have a fun week 🙂


Jan 16

The Cookie…

Oh the cookie…it all started as a normal Friday night.  After work I loaded up the boys and we headed to my fav store, Target.  What should have been a pretty quick trip in and out, as I didn’t need many items this week, turned into a little adventure.

I always always get sucked into Target’s clearance section.  And the boys had some gift cards from Christmas that were burning a hole in their pockets so, they shopped the toy clearance aisle and scored some great deals!  On top of that I got this really cool lamp that I’m super excited about!

Pretty huh?!  It was only $4!!

Pretty huh?! It was only $4!!

Anyhow, we were there much longer than I had anticipated.  And when we finally checked out and got to my car it wouldn’t open.  Like the handheld car door opener thing wouldn’t work.  No lights, no noises, nothing.  Obviously the first thing I checked was to make sure I was in fact trying to get into the right car lol.  Yep, it was my car!  Next I tried the key…mind you I have never since owning my car used the key to get in my car…ever.  Didn’t work, key wouldn’t turn.  So I call Chris to tell him to come get us.  Meanwhile two nice people in the parking lot stopped to see what was wrong and they both attempted to help me get in my car.  The key didn’t work for them either…and yes we all tried both doors.

So, I haul the kids back into Target because now it’s almost 8:30pm and well past dinner and we’re all starving.  Mind you I had planned to be home by 7pm for a late dinner.  Looking back I’m so mad at myself, but in the heat of the moment with my heart racing about how the heck we were gonna fix my car this is what I did…

I bought two mini pizzas and some water for the kids.  As I’m checking out I see these delicious looking chocolate chip cookies staring me down.  I ask the lady how much they were.  She said ‘They’re $1.’  Me, ‘Great, I’ll take two!’  What?!?!?!  Then as I’m telling her what happened because I look flustered as heck…she so kindly hands me some free popcorn for the kids…super sweet of her!

But…oh my gosh Jen!!  I mean talk about not healthy!  Ugh.  The kids were stoked and immediately began chowing down their pizza and popcorn.  I split the two cookies between the 4 of us so we each got a half…they were big cookies!  And then I ate…more like devoured this sugary yumminess.  It.was.so.good!

After I calmed down, the realization of what just happened (food wise) hit me.  I thought why didn’t I go grab something healthy for us to eat??  I mean I’m ‘in’ a grocery store where I have pretty much anything right there at my finger tips.  So so silly.  I then told Vann to run and grab a bag of pre-sliced apples…I had to redeem myself a little bit!  So we had those for dessert 🙂


I have not been that stressed in a long time.  And even though I’m not happy with the choices I made in the heat of the moment, I’m kinda glad it happened.  I now know this is an area I need to improve on.  What’s funny is that I even had a protein bar for myself and healthy granola bars for the kids in my purse.  Yep I totally did.  They did not even cross my mind until I got home and started thinking about it.

Anyhow, I think being aware of your problem areas can really help you to be in control of them more.  I’m not saying the next time I get frazzled like that I won’t mess up, because I probably will.  But…I promise I will do better.  And the time after that I’ll do even better yet!  How do I know this…well specifically because of the changes I’ve made over the last year.  When I’m aware of what needs to be improved I really really try to make those changes happen.  It takes time, but eventually if you are determined and consistent things will change!

So yeah, I ate 1/2 a cookie tonight.  Which is not the end of the world I know, but I was not in control when it happened.  I totally let stress take over and ‘that’ is what I will work to improve on from here on out.

And in case you’re wondering I did in fact get in my car!  Turns out I wasn’t turning the key hard enough…well neither did the other two people that tried.  Chris had the magic touch though!  He opened the door and then had to jump the car because for some reason the battery was dead.  We think the alarm may have been going off for awhile because as soon as he got it jumped the alarm started going off.  And no my lights were not left on…we checked that.  I don’t know…maybe it just needs a new battery or something.

So that was my fun adventure in Target tonight 🙂

What do you do to prevent yourself from not eating well in stressful situations?  Any great tips of tricks that work for you?  I’d love to hear them!

Jan 16

Pokey Eggs

My kids looove pokey eggs!  That’s what we call them in our house 🙂  They are otherwise known as sunny side up eggs.  I wanted to share with you the easiest way to cook these yummy eggs.  Chris taught me this…did I mention he’s a pro in the kitchen?!


First, grab your eggs out of the fridge and put them on the counter by your stove.  Then put a little water in the bottom of your pan…


 And turn up the heat!


Wait for the water to start simmering.


Take the lid off and get ready to add your eggs.


Crack your eggs and carefully drop them into the simmering water.  You don’t want to break the yolk!


Then put the lid back on, let the water come back up to a simmer, and then turn the heat down just a bit…keep the water simmering though.


You will have to lift the lid a few times so, the water doesn’t boil over the pan.  One of these times sprinkle some salt and crack some fresh ground black pepper onto your eggs.


Cook eggs till desired doneness.  You can keep them super runny, this is my oldest son’s favorite way to eat them!  Or if you cook them longer they will be less runny, this is how I prefer them 🙂

IMG_8006When your eggs are done, carefully transfer them to a plate.  I use a pancake flipper to do this.  Then enjoy!!



And there you have it…what I find to be the easiest way to cook pokey eggs 🙂  My kids ask for these almost every morning, they really do love them!  What’s your favorite way to cook eggs?

Note…You can cook up to 4 eggs in a small saucepan at a time, in fact when cooking them for the kids that’s how I usually do it 🙂

Jan 12

Weekly Menu 1/12 – 1/18

It’s weekly menu time!  If you read yesterday’s post you know that I did not make the Baked Parmesan Pork Chops from last week’s menu so, I popped them into this week’s menu instead.  I’m trying a few new recipes I found on Pinterest and am super excited about them!


Baked Carrot Fries…they are yum!

Okay here ya go!

MONDAY – Quesadillas using our leftover taco meat and black beans from our taco night last week on Thursday.  I will use taco meat, black beans, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, a little salsa and our homemade whole wheat tortillas and some fresh pineapple on the side.

TUESDAY – Loaded Turkey and Hummus Mediterranean Paninis with carrots, cucumber slices and baby tomatoes.

WEDNESDAY  – Baked Parmesan Pork Chops with roasted asparagus and mushrooms.

THURSDAY – Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry with brown rice

FRIDAY – Leftovers

SATURDAY – Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Roasted Peppers, Broccoli and Peas…side note, the original recipe calls for sun dried tomatoes…I’m using roasted peppers instead.

SUNDAY – Pulled Pork Gyros with Baked Carrot Fries


And you can’t forget about a few fun snacks!


Homemade popcorn is super easy!

Okay that’s it!  Let me know if you try any of them 🙂

Jan 11

Confession time…

Are you ready to hear about my busy, fun, totally not focused on my nutrition, only semi productive, I even skipped my workout this morning day?  Phew!  Here’s the deal.  I love working out…l.o.v.e it!  I also love fueling my body with healthy foods because I feel amazing when I do so.  But…I am far from perfect.  And I don’t want to you think I am so, I hope you know that I am always honest with everything that I post.  If I have a super great day…I’ll tell ya!  If I have a not so great day…I’m gonna tell ya that too!  So here I go…


Today was not a great day in the kitchen for me.  Here’s how it went…

  • I woke up later than planned and as a result did not work out…not a huge biggie as I can workout later.
  • Then I got ready for the day and little guy and I headed to Costco.
  • We loaded the cart with tons of healthy goodies and one big fat not healthy one…a ginormous take-n-bake pizza….aack!
  • When I got home I had to bust a move and unload the car, put the cold stuff away and the three boys and I jumped back in the car and went to see a movie.  We saw Big Hero 6…have you seen it?  I love it!!  Such a cute movie…lots of laughter and I even got a little teary.  But guess what…I bought popcorn!  Yeah I know.  See usually I will pop my own and just bring it along in my purse for the kids to munch on, but this movie thing was kind of a last minute idea and there was no time…we were late getting there as it was.  So yeah, I bought movie theater popcorn.

big hero 6

  • After the movie we came back home to lay Ash down for a much needed nap.  I started some laundry, put the rest of the groceries away, and then chit-chatted with one of the friends we have staying with us.  It was a great convo…we talked a ton about our favorite workouts!
  • When I finally looked at the clock it was 5pm and I hadn’t even had my Shakeology yet!  This is something I never miss…like ever.  So I quick made my shake which actually worked out perfectly because it helped me at dinner time, keep reading…
  • When dinner time rolled around I cooked that ginormous pizza in the oven.  I know I could’ve easily found a healthier quick option or just stuck to my menu and thawed out my pork chops and made those.  But…well it just didn’t happen.  The convenience bug bit me today…it doesn’t happen often, but it did today.  I’m happy to say I was still full from my shake so I only had a very small slice with a big side of blackberries, baby tomatoes and carrots.

Sigh…on top of this I wasn’t drinking my water like I usually do and eating every 2-3 hours was out the window.  See I told you…one big mess in the nutrition department today!  I guess my whole point in telling you this is so you know that even those of us who are super committed to living a healthy lifestyle make mistakes.  And you can’t beat yourself up over it.  Could I have made better choices today…absolutely!  But sometimes life happens and snuggling with my boys in the movie theater and spending quality time with my friend trumped everything else.  I’m not making excuses…but that’s what happened.  And to be honest, I’m okay with it!

bad week

One thing I didn’t do was over eat so, I’m very happy about that.  And I do plan to get a double workout in tonight…PiYo and 21 Day Fix.  Then tomorrow I will be totally back on track.  I will not let this one day mess of unhealthiness throw me completely off track.  Nope, not gonna happen!

Anyhow enough about me…how was your day?!?!

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