Monday, January 31, 2011

Good bye January, HELLO FEBRUARY!!!

Happy Monday everyone!  Where did the month go?  Seriously, I could have sworn it was just New Year's.  I have to say I'm in a rather chipper mood today.  I don't know if it's because it's chilly-willy outside or that my backyard is one step closer to being everything we want it to be.  The addition to the garden isn't quite there yet but holy moly is the the new BBQ area pretty groovy!  I can't wait to show you all our hard work but until then, you'll just have to take our word for it.  I think we have about 3 more hours of shovel duty until I can show the "fruits" of our labor!  :)

  I have to admit something, I didn't do the best job planning dinner this week.  I feel as if it's a bit redundant for some reason.  Oh well, let's see what we are eating:
  • Mon:  Slow Cooked Chicken*
  • Tues:  Burger Pizza*
  • Wed: Spaghetti*
  • Thur: Chicken Stir Fry
  • Fri:    Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Sat:   Eating out
  • Sun:  Taco Salad and the SUPERBOWL
* works for the things to do list (slow cooker and new recipe)
 
Yup... that's it.  Nothing fancy.  For food prep, I didn't do any.  I just made dinner (Turkey Meatloaf and my goodness was it DA BOMB! BEST EVER!!!!)  I just wasn't enthused.  I did my usual shopping at Trader Joe's and wasn't... inspired.  Usually browsing through the produce section gets me excited but not this time.  I think the only thing different I bought was sweet potato slices for the kupcake to eat this week.  I think next weekend I'll need to run by one of the farmer's markets in our area and hope to find something different. I need variety!  Come on spring veggies, start growing!!!


Onto this week's to do list:
  • EBay a few things
  • Start making a pile for garage sale. 
  • Clean media room
  • Finish moving dirt for the garden
  • Repot front pot 
  • Relax
  • RUN... i need to RUN RUN RUN!

  In other news, I'm become obsessed with my new skillet.  I'm in absolute love with it.  I even want to toss all my frying pans away and just run off with this one. I'm currently toying with cleaning out the pans (they are good but do I need them all?) we have and just owning a few key pieces.  Still undecided.  Is that wrong?  Do I really need frying pans when I have such an amazing skillet? What do you think?

Photo Source

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Joss and Main... sweet deals on kitchen and other household items

You know all those supercool, in the know websites that have bargain deals?  A new one just popped up and want to share it with you.  It's called Joss and Main.  They have some fantastic deals on cookware and household things.  If you join now, you get $15 credit for your first purchase (when you spend $50)!  There are great deals like this sauce pan for $40.95!!!  (It's on sale for 55$ from $135, use your $15 credit)

Now, go Join!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Coffee on a Monday Morning...

There isn't anything better, wouldn't you agree?  After the weekend, I totally felt like coming to work was going to be my vacation since we were so busy but I am S W A M P E D.  Not only did we terrorize the backyard by adding onto the garden and chopping down a tree (when I say we, I mean the hubby and our good friend, I was supervising from the inside with the kupcake). We also cleaned to high heaven (still need to do a little more, yuck).  I am happy to report though we did a lot with the 48 hours we had.  Even food prepping tired me out, I chopped, sauteed, boiled, and packaged quite a few things for this week's dinners.  So what are we eating this week?
  • Sunday:  Chicken Pot Pie
  • Monday:  leftovers (i'm on my own)
  • Tuesday:  Chicken and Broccoli Pie with Orzo & Swiss Chard
  • Wednesday: French Dip Sandwiches with Quinoa & Kale, Turnip Fries
  • Thursday: N'awlins Stuffed Bell Peppers with Collard Greens
  • Friday:  Chicken Tortilla Soup*
  • Saturday:  Eat out!
*completes the yearly to do list (crock pot and new recipe)

I'm so excited to try a bunch of new recipes and new foods.  Almost everything we are eating comes from new recipes.  The only things I need to do this week is the au jus for the French Dip Sandwiches and Thursday's dinner.  This entire menu was inspired by the box of produce we got.

On to list of things to do this week:
  • Finish building extention on the garden
  • Work and Finalize plans for Trellis 
  • Complete BBQ ground area (will go into this later)
  • Plant more
  • Clean bathrooms (Lame)
  • Repot two planters
  • bake 
  • Run during my lunch breaks
  • Hang Swing
I think the backyard is going to keep us busy for the next week and am excited to show you everything we've done so far (it entails a chainsaws!).

  How was your weekend? 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Color seeping in

springtimeIn your wardrobe that is. When do you add more color? In winter, I tend to fall into shades of dark purples, navy blues, greys, all shades of brown, camel, black and ivory. I love me some dark blends but with the sun just shining through the windows I feel like I need a break.  Now that January is almost over I was wondering when should I start adding in that splash of lemon yellow or a burst of berry. Or do I all out and just jump into spring with lots of color.


Now if I won the lotto, I'd totally go all out and buy a brand new wardrobe like these off to the side. I'm not, so this will just be my inspirations. For now, I will be just be shopping for a few key tops and some scarves to add that splash I'm in need of.

  What is the one type of clothing you always must buy for springtime?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trying to stay hip... CSN Preview...

  We've always tried to live a hip existence.  I think I use clothing, travel, and decor to mask my unhip-ness and inner geek.  Having a kid, kinda kept me off the map on what is trending now and what is cool.   With the house, I knew I needed some help with  modern d├ęcor.  In the middle of flipping through websites and trying to find splashes o' fun while not spending a boat load for a gazelle (was it a gazelle Joey bought and if you get that reference you are hip!) that will look tacky in 3 months, I received a great opportunity to help me out.  CSN stores is literally wonder to be hold.  They have everything under the sun and gave me a chance to do a review on one of their stores that feature items for  just what I was looking for. 


  Looking at all our options from vases, figurines, fireplace accessories, and everything else under the sun, we decided that adding some accent pillows will give our room that pop it needs to keep us looking and feeling a little hip.  Not to crazy but just enough to say we can be whimsical too? No? yes?  Just right?! 


  I can't wait for them to arrive and see how it looks.  I have a feeling all this will do is make me want to spruce up the room more and poor hubby will have yet another project on his hands.  


Thanks CSN for the opportunity to preach about your awesomeness!


This blogger received a promo code and did not receive financial compensation. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Farmer's Market at my front door...

A few weeks ago, Groupon offered one for a company called Farm Fresh to you.  I was really intrigued by co-op farms and this was similar to that and was orgainic too so when it came along I had to try it out.  I bought the Groupon and quickly signed up to get  a box of veggies.  Little did I know I would get so much!

In the box, I received:
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Bunch of Broccoli
  • 1 Bunch of Mixed Chard
  • 1 Bunch of Mixed Kale
  • 1 lb of Purple Top Turnips
  • 1 Bunch of Nantes Carrots
  • 1 Bunch of Bunched Collard
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 lb of Mixed Baby Lettuce
  • 1 lb of Klamath Pearl Potato
  • 1 lb of Yellow Onion
I'm so excited to cook up some great meals with all this yummy food.  If you are interested, you should definitely try it out!  Here is a promo code for $5.00 off your first order:  6164.  You can cancel after your first order.

  Now I'm off to start planning next week's meals with all this goodness!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Square foot gardening.

A few friends of mine asked me where to start if you've never really grew anything before.  I always love to tell them about square foot gardening.  I think it's a great stepping stone to growing without going big or broke.
Square Foot Gardening is the practice of planning small but intensively planted gardens.
The original square-foot-gardening method used an open-bottomed box to contain a finite amount of soil, which was divided with a grid into sections. To encourage variety of different crops over time, each square would be planted with a different kind of plant, the number of plants per square depending on an individual plant's size. A single tomato plant might take a full square, as might herbs such as oregano, basil or mint, while most strawberry plants could be planted four per square, with up to sixteen radishes per square. Tall or climbing plants such as maize or pole beans might be planted in a northern row (south in the southern hemisphere) so as not to shade other plants, and supported with lattice or netting.
The logic behind using smaller beds is that they are easily adapted, and the gardener can easily reach the entire area, without stepping on and compacting the soil. 
                                    --Thank you Wikipiedia



Photo Source


  Basically all you need is a spot to grow (can be in the ground or raised with wood or cinder blocks for the sides), soil, string (to make your squares), nails/screws (to hold down the string) seeds and a means to water the garden.  It really is that easy.  The more it grows, the more you will learn, like how to get rid of bugs that eat your plants (tip: Plant Marigolds all throughout the garden, it helps keep the bugs away).

Next up, container gardening...

Living Social Amazon Deal

I was checking out the daily deals and found a great one for Amazon that I had to share with you!!!



If you haven't heard of LivingSocial, I highly suggest you go check it out now!  It's just like Groupon but have to admit the deals seem to be a lot better there!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Garden start up...

This year we are doing this right, we are going to be remembering dates, remembering how to water, remembering to pick our veggies and just remembering to garden and not let it turn to weed.  In order to get motivated I drew up a mockup of what our main section of our garden will look like. 

We are going to try corn once again and crossing our fingers we can get our artichoke plant to grow.  It hasn't grown in two years, and it's only 8 inches tall.  Last weekend we started planting and hopefully this weekend we can finish it all off so we can have the bottom section completely ready to go once the seedlings are ready for the outside.

We will also be working on some type of watering system for the entire hill but we'll talk about that later.  For now, dreaming of a summer filled with abundant veggies.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just another manic monday....

  You know you hear about those people who have just the crummiest of the crummy days and it falls on a Monday? Well, I'm living it right now.  It really started just after midnight.  Our little kupcake is teething and woke up in sheer pain.  She didn't want anything else other than for me to hold her.  Cute, but not when you are extremely exhausted.  That was from 330-430.  Moving on, woke up and low and behold, I broke out... eh.  Then, I lost my wallet.  No CLUE where it is.  Didn't fix lunch so had to grab a frozen meal from the fridge. Next, the shoes I wore, I totally forgot how UN-FREAKING-COMFORTABLE they are. Moving on to getting to work.  I was walking from the parking structure with my groceries for the week (multigrain cheerios, oranges, apples, bananas, almond milk) and my bag breaks.  The ONE time I use a brown bag instead of the reusable bags.  Of course.  Then, when I finally arrive at my office, my computer is showing the blue screen of death.  Seriously, this was all before 815.  Luckily my computer rebooted fine but still.  Oh, and it's suppose to be 84 today.  It looks so beautiful outside and I will be stuck all day inside.  Nice. YEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLPPPP!

Enough about today, how was everyone's weekend?  Our was just glorious!  The sun was shining and the birds were chirping.  We were busy but we also had time to relax.  It was wonderful. I finally got some gardening down and am just super excited about that.  YEA! 

Now, let's plan our meals shall we?
  • Sunday:  Sushi Night
  • Monday:  Turkey Burgers (didn't have them last week) -- on the Grill outside, can you hello 80+ weather
  • Tuesday:  Fish Tacos
  • Wednesday:  Cuban Sandwiches
  • Thursday:  Artichoke Lemon & Chicken  Pasta *
  • Friday:  BBQ turkey Meatballs (slow cooker)*
  • Saturday: Eat out / Order in
Sides will be consisting of Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Brussels Spouts, Caesar salad, Corn, veggie slaw, and black beans.  YUMM
Desserts will be apples with Peanut Butter... (i so love this combo), Frozen Yogurt, Fruit Smoothies. 

The little kupcake is eating lentil and chickpeas and whatever she grabs off our plates.  :)

The weekly to-do list:
  • Work out
  • Work on garden
  • Repot flowers for the front porch
  • Put away little girl clothes
  • Catch up on reading
  • Reorganize recipes into new binder
  • Clean the floors
  • Baby proof...someone is crawling.  
Did you ever have a morning where you wish you could just start over again?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sandbox Lane

I'm so happy to announce Sandbox Lane is finally open.  When I was pregnant, we searched high and low for eco-friendly baby products like cloth diapers, feeding supplies, clothing, and toys.  Most of the shops were online and it was expensive.  When KLM arrived we decided it was time to fill the void we found and made Sandbox Lane

  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Learning to sow...again.

2009 was an awesome year learning how to garden.  2010 we stalled because I was growing a little kupcake of my very own and didn't have time to garden.  2011, we are back and we are going to do it bigger and better.

Here is what we have in store for Little Miss Planner's Garden:
  • Building a cold frame
  • Extending the garden
  • Building a real trellis for the grapes  (fingers crossed we get some grapes this year)
  • Adding two more dwarf fruit trees
  • Build a better watering system
As far as what we are planting and hope to produce:
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Artichokes
  • Cucumbers
  • Squash crock neck and Pattypan
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Beans
  • Butter Lettuce 
  • Cabbage
  • Bok Choi
  • Beets
  • Chilis
  • Oranges (already producing)
  • Plums (new)
  • Grapes
  • Apricots
  • Raspberries (already producing but hard to get to)
  • Sunflowers (multiple varieties)
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
  • Big Tomatoes
  • Chives
  • Garlic
We start the big renovation of the garden next weekend so I'll get some photos up before then.  

If you had a garden, what would you grow?

14 hours to go...

So is it wrong that I'm just waiting for midnight so I can have some type of sugar? It's funny how MANY things have it. Example, the hubby pulled out his box of wheat thins and it sounded soooooooo good, (perhaps with a little bit of swiss cheese -YUM) and before I devoured it I read the ingredients... SUGAR. Really?! Uggh. I'm looking forward to the little things like coffee, or even gum for that matter. I just can not friggin wait.

This weekend is going to be a good one.  Let's see what is in store for us:
  • Two pilates classes back to back (they are 30 min each)
  • Dinner Sushi date with our family friends and their kiddo
  • Home Depot Garden Center (seriously, this store is paradise to me)
  • Cleaning the backyard up for next weekend's big job
  • Baking with three of my nieces 
  • Make your own pizza night and a movie
  • Hazelnut Coffee with Hazelnut sugar free sweetener and a splash of almond milk
  • Target for misc goodies
  • Trader Joe's and Maddy's Market (it's our local organic store... local as in the veggies and fruits come from local farms) for groceries (random note: I rarely... I mean RARELY go to regular grocery stores now...)
  • Food Prep and menu planning for the week
 It's going to be high seventies here so I'm busting some shorts and flip flops too and just enjoying the weekend. I cannot WAIT!
 
How are you going to spend your weekend?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Half way there...

Trying to get through this sugar-less week has been easy and hard.  Oh boy, what I would give to make cupcakes right now, or even macaroons.  Seriously, I never made macaroons before and there is no need for cupcakes in our house but I'm just dying to bake.  I think I'm finally having withdrawals.  On the plus, I'm half way there to winning.  Granted it's just a measly car wash but I'm in it for the bragging rights. 

Back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

34 hours down... 86 to go!

  No sugar that is.  I must say I've been pretty nice.  Last night was my first real craving.  It was dessert time and didn't feel like making a fruit smoothie so I sat in the media room folding clothes and was really jonesing for something, then it dawned on me, PEANUT BUTTER!  Why didn't I think of this before?  I skipped down the hallway and checked the ingredients... just peanuts!  HOORAY!!!  I pulled out an apple, chopped it up and slathered peanut butter all over it and omg, OMG OMG OMG... it was good!  I probably ate about 10 tablespoons of it but who's counting.  The hubby saw me come back in the room and asked what I had.  The conversation went something like this:

Hubby: What are you eating?
Me: Dessert!
Hubby: HA! I win!
Me: No you don't! I'm not eating sugar. ~smirk~
Hubby: Peanut butter has sugar.
Me: NOPE, not ours. It's OHHH natural! ~dancing in my seat~
Hubby: Well..hmmm.
Me: MMM MMM MMM
Hubby: I'm going for a run! ~walks outs in a huff and comes back in a few minutes later~
Hubby: Okay, I'm going. ~kisses me~ Eww, you smell like peanut butter!
Me: I know, right?! YUM! ~big smile~
Awww... sweet victory!  I know it's only one day down but still, I'm happy I made it through day one.  It will be interesting how quickly I will finish off this bottle of the good stuff and move onto bottle numero dos.  Tonight, I think I will have some bug snacks... celery with peanut butter and raisins.  :P

  Have you ever given up sweet treats?  If so, how long did you last?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let the withdraw begin...

I made a bet with the hubby about giving up processed sugar for 5 days.  He didn't think I could do it (part of me does too) and I now I am sitting here, going on nine hours without.  Granted 7 of those hours I was asleep but lets not talk particulars here. You see, the last 3 weeks I've been off the sweets wagon and living the high life like I was at Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.  Now there isn't anything wrong with a little sugar but seriously, I must have been consuming a lb a day.  So, what did I give up? Anything with the words like sugar or syrup in the ingredients.  In an effort to be ready for this week (Monday - Friday) I bought lots of fruits and veggies, plain greek yogurt, and cottage cheese for snacking.  What's at stake? A executive car wash.  I'm talking about the fancy one that even cleans the dash and makes it smell nice.  Last car wash I had was ions ago.  I do keep the inside clean and once in a while I run it through the car wash after I get gas.  It looks clean with all the rain we've gotten but still, my baby needs a little TLC.  I will give daily updates on how I do. 

Now, let's move on.  It's Monday so you know what that means: MEAL PLANNING DAY.  Yesterday while at Target, I was browsing the dollar section I found a little dry erase board. What a perfect little thing to keep us on track.  We have a saying at the planner household, "if it's written down then we must follow through." I tossed it in the cart and took it home.  It helped out a lot when I was prepping meals for the week.  So what are we eating?
  • Monday: Hawaiian Pork Nachos (we didn't make this last week)*
  • Tuesday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Turkey & Mushroom Sauce
  • Wednesday: Chicken Tikka Marsala with Garlic Naan (naan came from Trader Joe's)
  • Thursday:  Prosciutto wrapped Turkey Burgers
  • Friday: French Dip Sandwiches (with pork meat)*
  • Saturday:  Sushi with friends!  
*acts as part of yearly to do list, slow cooker and new meals.

Desserts this week will be fruit slurpees.  All fruit, no sugar.  :) YUM!

So what did I prep last night?
  • Boiled the chicken and now marinating in the Tikka Marsala sauce we bought
  • Slow Cooked the pork for Monday and Friday's meals
  • Made the Turkey and Mushroom Sauce
  • Made Minestrone soup for a side dish for this week's meals.
  • Made a week's worth of Banana/Apple/Walnut/Raison Oatmeal
  • Made the turkey burger patties
This time around, I had less dishes dirty since I figured out a good pattern to only get the same ones dirty so I was cleaning along the way.  I'm really enjoying my meal prep time now.  I feel more relaxed during the week and have more time to enjoy playing with kupcake.

Moving on to this week's to-do list:
  • Work out 3 times during my lunch break (must bring running gear and shower gear to work)
  • Finish cleaning my room.  Yup, it's dirty and it needs a good deep cleaning.
  • Figure out vacation plans for Memorial day.  I'm DYING to plan another trip.  
  • Fix the vacuum.  I broke it... how?  I have long hair and if you do too you'll understand. 
  • Finish cleaning the garage.  Hubby did a terrific job this weekend and now all that's left is the shelves.
  • Put away little girl clothes.
That's about it.  How is your week shaping up to being?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sugar shock...

That's me... I told myself this morning I would be good, apparently humanity had other things in mind.  A coworker just stopped my desk with treats.  To be specific, a tray of beautiful cupcakes her husband's coworker's daughter (you follow?) bakes as a side business while putting herself through college.  Now, I was ready to say no, until A: I noticed they were cupcakes (my weakness) and 2: there was a peanut butter and chocolate one.  DROOL!  It's not even noon and I already ate some of it, hence the sugar shock I am feeling.

  Now in my sugar induced coma, I can barely think straight.  When this happens, I try to remember my weekly to do list.  It's pretty sad I haven't done much other than put away little girl clothes.  Tonight I will go running.  Or at least attempt to go running.  My gut feeling is that I will probably just run down the block and than walk back.  LAME.  I will follow it up with some sit ups because well, I said I would.  I need to do something especially with this yummy cupcake looking at me. 
 
 In other news, did you know it's Thursday?  This week kinda flew by.  I wasn't ready for it to be over if that makes sense.  Luckily the hubby had a business dinner yesterday so last night's dinner got pushed to tonight.  YEA!!!  Tonight's dinner consists of heating up the oven and sticking casserole in it.  I love this whole new food prep thing I got going. 

  How is your week shaping up?

Monday, January 3, 2011

WHERE'S MY SNOW???!

I woke up this morning and in my haze, opened my phone to see the latest Facebook ramblings.  Funny how almost all of them were from my friends who still live in my home town, all the same thing... SNOW!!!  Now they barely got 2-3 inches but that was still enough to close down the town.  No school, no work, nothing.  If there was any moment in my life where I wanted to live there, right now was this moment.  Oh how I didn't want to go to work today!  I stumbled to the window and said a little prayer, in hopes that there'd be snow outside our home but when I pulled the blinds back I got was wet wet wet earth. No snow, just more rain.  Something I really like but today it wasn't cutting it.  I wanted my snow day.

Now let's get this party started.  Are you ready for a new week? I am.  I spent the better part of my evening yesterday menu planning/prepping for the family.  For the adults and for the little kupcake.  Let's see what is for dinner this week:
  • Monday: Roasted Chicken with potatoes and artichoke hearts (*new menu item)
  • Tuesday: Butternut Squash Soup with popcorn chicken 
  • Wednesday: Macaroni Casserole with Turkey meat sauce
  • Thursday: BBQ chicken pizza (using leftover chicken from Monday)
  • Friday: Hawaiian shredded pork nachos (*crock pot meal)
  • Saturday: Dinner out
*items for yearly to do list challenge

Breakfast and lunch for the week were prepped too:
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal.  Mine has Apple, Banana, Blueberry, Walnuts, Raisins, Almond Milk and a hint of brown sugar and Cinnamon.  YUMMM!!!!
  • Lunch:  Balsamic Vinegar Chicken salad. 
The kupcake will be eating apples, apples with blueberry, and of course lots and lots of milk!  Exciting huh?

By the time I was done, the kitchen was a MESS!  I'm surprised the Governor didn't issue it a DISASTER AREA!  I made my breakfasts and the chicken for my lunches, made the butternut squash soup, steamed a bag of apples, got the chicken prepped for Monday's dinner, made Wednesday's dinner so it will just pop into the oven when it's time and packaged everything up.  Phew!  It was a lot of work but so happy it is over with.

Now onto my to-do list:
  • Get the website up.  I tried migrating stuff over last week but broke something.  Fingers crossed we can open up the store this week and I can finally share it with you!
  • Run/Walk 10 miles (must bring running gear to work this week)
  • Do two hundred various types of sit ups
  • Put away little girl clothes
  • Take down last of the Christmas Decorations and pack it all up
  • Sushi dinner with friends
  • Create a chore list.  See... I totally plan everything out.  Only way to live I say!  
  • Get back on track with food.  I ate at least  15 pieces a candy everyday for the past 2 weeks.  I am all for moderation, two pieces a day to combat cravings, but seriously, I dove in and never looked back. 
So that's our life here at the planner household. 

I'm looking forward to moving again.  I feel like a total sloth!  What are you looking forward to this week?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Things to do before 2012

Wow... that year went by fast!!!  Time to do my Things to do List for 2012:

  1. Pay my car off
  2. Re-Organize back closet for inventory space
  3. Get the garden up and going again
  4. Launch our online store
  5. Go to Hawaii - Big Island
  6. Blog 2 Months Straight
  7. Cook 1 new meal I haven't cook before every week for one quarter
  8. Cook 1 slow cooker recipe every week for one quarter
  9. Take a vacation to a destination I've never been to
  10. Stay at a Disneyland hotel 
  11. Go to Baby and Kids ABC Expo
  12. Clean out my closet
  13. Go to New Mexico
  14. Log 500 miles running/walking
  15. Go to the Zoo
What's on your list?