Meal Prepping

I have been experimenting with different meal prep varieties lately 🙂  It has been working beautifully for me, and I find myself staying on track and less tempted to eat out if I already have my food prepared and ready to go.


My normal breakfast is 1/2 cup of non-fat greek yogurt with frozen berries (berry blend from Kroger), 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 tsp of Splenda.  I usually prep my meals on Sundays, so when I wake up Monday morning the berries are not frozen anymore, and there is natural berry juice in the container to flavor the yogurt.  I really enjoy it!

My lunch this week is my “lighter” version of a burrito bowl, which is 4 oz lean ground turkey, 1/2 cup black beans, and 1 cup of frozen veggies (fiesta blend from Kroger).  When I heat up my food, I add a little shredded romaine, pico de gallo, and 1 teaspoon of Boathouse Farms salad dressing.  I think the flavor I use is Salsa Verde.  Sometimes I add 1/4 cup of shredded cheese 🙂

For dinner, I’m keeping it simple with 4 oz of baked chicken, 1/2 cup of roasted sweet potatoes, and 1 cup of frozen veggies (stir fry blend from Kroger).  I usually use about 2 tablespoons of Boathouse Farms Ranch salad dressing to dip my chicken in.

For dessert, I have been eating Larabars in two of my favorite flavors, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Peanut Butter.  I break the bar in half and microwave it for 30 seconds, and then add 1 tablespoon of whipped cream to each half.  It’s not a brownie, but it leaves me satisfied enough not to run to the store for some sweets 🙂

If I get hungry, I have baby carrots and Wholly Guacamole’s 100 calorie cups, which is one of my favorite snacks!  I also really enjoy an apple with a laughing cow cheese wedge and some Kashi garlic pesto crackers.

As far as drinks, I drink water throughout the day, and have 1 large cup of coffee in the morning.  I have tried time and time again to drink my coffee black, but it’s just not happening.  Right now, I sweeten it with 2 tablespoons of Splenda and a splash of unsweetened almond milk.  After my Splenda runs out, I’m thinking of switching to Stevia since it’s supposed to be healthier.

Another thing that helps me is using clear containers.  I use the 2 cup glass pyrex containers for my yogurt and 32 ounce Glasslock containers for my lunches and dinners. I can open my refrigerator up and see everything, so that helps remind me that I worked hard to prep all of these meals, so I better eat them instead of ordering takeout 😉

I’m always on the lookout for cheap, easy, and healthy meals for the week.  If anyone has any suggestions please comment below 🙂

Until next time….

Cheers 😉

Summertime!

Well kids, I finally did it.  I ripped up the disgusting carpet on my stairs.  I’m feeling a little overwhelmed, I’m not going to lie.  This is what I’m dealing with….

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What have I done???  I have to keep telling myself: the carpet was terrible, becoming a second cat scratching post, super smelly, and  beyond filthy.  So far I have gotten all of the staples out (that took forever!), and cleaned all of the dust and carpet fibers off.  Next on the agenda is to fill in holes and dents with wood putty.  I bought some paint from Home Depot (Behr – Sweet Molasses) that I plan to use on the treads and the railing.  I’m planning on using basic while on the risers.  I also predict I’ll need to use a truckload of caulk on all those gaps.  This may take longer than I thought 😦

In other news, I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 25 pounds since I began eating healthier and exercising in December!  I feel a lot better, and I have much more energy.  I have even gotten my husband involved; we go on Saturday morning walks at our local greenway.  I think we need to start getting up earlier – last time we went around 10 AM it was already nearly 80 degrees! I also have been meal prepping, which really helps me stay on track.  My biggest challenge lately has been eating healthy on the weekends.  What do you do to stay on track on weekends? Do you meal prep for weekends too? I’d love tips if anyone has any 🙂

Until next time, cheers 😉

What happened to May?

Seriously, where did the entire month of May go??  I have been super busy lately, but for good reasons 🙂

The first week of May we took our annual spring vacation.  Our goal is to see every state, so each year we pick two states to visit; one in the spring and the other in the fall.  I hate flying, so we road trip everywhere.  You get to see more of the scenery by driving anyway 😉  This year we went to Arkansas, which was really beautiful.  It definitely lives up to its name, “The Natural State.”  We started our journey in Little Rock.  We are nature enthusiasts, so instead of staying in costly hotels, we camp everywhere.  The first place we called home was Lake Maumelle.  Our campsite was right on the water, and we were visited by a mother goose and her goslings the next morning ❤  We climbed to an overlook on Pinnacle Mountain, which overlooks the Mississippi River.  It was cold that day, so we didn’t stay too long!  Next we went to Hot Springs, where we went to Garvin Botanical Gardens to see the famous chapel in the woods.  It was spectacular!  We went on a weekday, so we had the place to ourselves.  We also went to the top of the observation tower that overlooks the city.  It was so windy I thought I was going to blow away!

Our next campsite was on the shore of Lake Catherine, and we were greeted by hungry ducks & geese.  After getting a good night’s rest, we drove to Petit Jean State Park, which was gorgeous.  I would love to go back and do more hiking, but we were short on time.  We did complete the Bear Cave Trail, which had some amazing rock formations.  We also had lunch at the beautiful lodge, which tasted SO GOOD after eating camp food for a few days.  Next on our list was Mount Magazine State Park, which was also unbelievable.  We had a fabulous dinner at the Skycrest Restaurant there, which has floor to ceiling windows and a spectacular view.  This is another destination that I would love to go back to and really explore.  We didn’t get to see any bears, but we enjoyed every minute of the park.

Next we visited the quirky town of Eureka Springs, which was a diamond in the rough.  We did not expect to stay, but after a day of rain and thunderstorms on the way, we decided to go ahead and book a hotel for the night.  To our delight, we were able to stay in a charming little treehouse near the city square.  We each had extra long showers, took advantage of the cable TV, and slept on a bed for the first time in days 🙂  The next day we explored, visiting many of the shops and galleries located in the square.  We fell in love with the beautiful victorian cottages, lush gardens, and unexpected art pieces that decorate the entire town.  We finished off our stay with an evening ghost tour at the famous Crescent Hotel.

Our final day in Arkansas, we hiked to Hawksbill Crag, which is arguably the most famous hike in the state.  It was a fun 3 mile hike, suitable for anyone who isn’t afraid of heights.  I’m not sure how far the drop is, but if you fell you would not survive.  The trail was moderately busy, but we were by ourselves for the majority of the time.  The gravel road was steep and rough, but our little car made it up just fine 😉

I will post pictures later this week…I have not gotten around to editing any of our vacation photos, so there will be visual aids to accompany this post soon!

Warmer Weather Approaching!

Hello there!  Well it is already April 21st, and I am only a few short days from our annual spring vacation 🙂 This year we are going backpacking in the Ozarks.  I can’t wait!  We purchased a new tent that we will be trying out for the first time, and some new lightweight camping chairs.  My goal is to get all of our gear into the trunk (to deter potential car break-ins).

Its been a pretty rainy April, so we haven’t gotten as much accomplished outside as I would have liked, but that’s ok.  The front porch isn’t going anywhere, so we can always paint that next month!  We were able to clear out the dead bushes in the front yard and clean up around the front porch, but we haven’t planted anything just yet.  We also cleaned up the wooded area beside the retaining wall, and that looks much better now.  We were also able to paint the patio doors, and they look soooo much better.  We are still working to finish all of the touch ups inside, but I seem to always put that task off since it is so terribly tedious.

I am hopeful for May 🙂 I would like to finish up the things we didn’t get to in April, for sure.  We also had a contractor come out to give us an estimate on adding a screened in deck for the backyard, so maybe we can get that finished just in time for grilling season!

Goals for April!

April is fast approaching, and I have a lot on my to-do list 🙂  Here’s what I would like to tackle in the next few weeks:

  • Tidy up our front yard (landscaping, mulching, planting)
  • Paint the front porch
  • Paint the patio doors
  • Finish ALL painting inside (touch ups add up!)

I always seem to put off those little finishing touches, but they really do make all the difference.  Most of the projects I have for the house are complete, except for the ones where we would need to hire professionals.  Installing new floors and building a screened in deck are a bit out of my comfort zone.

I have some big projects that we are planning on completing ourselves, but I want to get all of the little things out of the way before we start something big.  I would like to have built-ins in my bonus room.  I would like to remove the carpet from my stairs to reveal the wood underneath (painting the stair risers and staining the steps included).  I would like to  paint my banister and replace my stair spindles.  These are all costly and time consuming projects, so right now I’m happy to do the remaining smaller projects until we make our way to the big stuff 🙂

I’m estimating that we can have all of the small things done by May.  We still need to replace the damaged window screens (there are several).  I want to paint the mailbox and stain our mailbox post.  I’d like to replace the doorbell button (it seems silly, but I really don’t like ours).  Our garage could use a fresh coat of paint too.  The people who owned our house before decided to paint a weird blue and white design all over the walls, so it would be so much nicer to see just one color.

Anyway, we are getting there.  We have lived in our house for almost 2 years now (our house-iversary is in July!) and it doesn’t even look like the same house we moved into.  That, my friends, is a success ❤

Until next time….cheers 😉

Our New(ish) Coffee Table 

Anyone that knows me is aware that I love to bargain hunt.  My favorite place to shop for furniture is on Craigslist.  I have been looking for a square coffee table for quite some time and when I came across this one for $60, I couldn’t pass it up.

The only problem I had with it was the finish.  Most of our furniture is dark wood, and our couch is dark brown leather, so the orange-y color wasn’t really doing it for me.  My MIL turned me on to her technique – putting wax directly over wood.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I have to say I love the results.  Here is the table after I brushed on a coat of the wax on the edges and sides of the table.

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Here is the wax I used – I found it at Joann’s

And here it is finished 🙂  I LOVE how it turned out.  It looks perfectly imperfect with a little touch of rustic farmhouse ❤  I finished the entire table in two days and didn’t have to sand anything.  I would say that is a win!

Until next time….cheers 😉

Fireplace Makeover

I am so excited to show off our fireplace makeover!  When we moved in, our fireplace was surrounded by marble, which was pretty.  Just not really us.

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Enter Airstone.  This is a material we found at Lowe’s that you can cut without fancy power tools and finish in a weekend.  We had great results with it 🙂  Here is a shot during the whole process.  As you can see, we rigged up some scrap wood from the garage to hold things in place while the first few stones dried.  

And here it is finished!  I love it ❤ We are so happy with the way it turned out.  On to the next project now!

Until next time….cheers 😉

Goals for March!

Okay, so it is 7 days into March so I am a little late posting this.

Last month we were able to complete our closet project 🙂 I have been shopping around for wall art and a comforter for the guest room, but I have not found anything I like in my price range. We also are not 100% finished with the third bedroom I started working on in February.

Due to that reason, my goals for March are pretty simple:

– Finish 3rd bedroom

– Lose 5 more pounds

– Fireplace project

The only things left to complete the third bedroom are pretty small: touch up paint, put up wall art, buy a lamp or two, etc.

The fireplace project has been on my mind for a while and we are finally getting that done! Right now we have a cream colored marble stone all around the fireplace, which doesn’t really fit our decor. We are replacing the marble with airstone, which is a lightweight stone material that is proving fairly easy to use:) I hope to be finished with that this weekend!

February turned out to be a busy month for us; we traveled to Chicago for my husband’s paternal grandfather’s funeral. We also celebrated his maternal grandmother’s 80th birthday. Between spending time with family and driving through multiple states, we didn’t have a lot of free time 🙂 Hopefully March will be less hectic so we can get our projects finished! 

Until next time….

Cheers,

DIY Closet Makeover!

I am proud to say we have finished our master bedroom closet!  My favorite addition so far has been my new vanity.  I now have a place for all of my makeup & hair products ❤ It has made getting ready so much easier and efficient!

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In addition to my new closet vanity, we also added some new closet organizers. We used to have the generic white wire closet shelves, but these cube style organizers allow us to sort all of our clothing and accessories in a much better way.

Here is a run down of everything we did:

– paint walls
– paint trim
– remove wire shelves
– install new closet organizers
– assemble vanity
– replace hangers
– buy fabric bins
– label fabric bins
– buy new mirror
– buy makeup organizers
– declutter items in closet

We were going to add an outlet inside of the closet so I can easily plug in my hair dryer, but the electrician quoted us over $300! I decided to just use an extension cord instead 🙂

Until next time….

Cheers,

Monthly Goals: An Update!

I am so happy and excited to announce we are 99% finished with the closet update 🙂  My husband put in some shelves today, and I have been busy organizing all of our new fabric bins.  I also ordered some awesome labels at Target so we will know where everything is; I am just waiting on them to arrive!  I am organizing everything into categories, so I will have a dedicated home for all of our belts, hats, jeans, etc.

I am most excited that my vanity is almost finished as well!  I now have a place for all of my makeup, perfume, and hair tools.  Once my labels come in from Target, I can add those to my bins 🙂  The last thing we need for the vanity is a big mirror.  I’m not willing to spend an arm and a leg, so I will shop around this week for an affordable one.  I am hoping to reveal everything this weekend, so get ready!

Our third bedroom is also in the midst of a transformation 🙂 I painted the closet doors and bedroom door so far, and the trim is almost done!  I still need to paint the windowsill and the trim around the bedroom door.  Once that is finished I can start on the walls.  Since this is ultimately going to be my husband’s hobby room, I want to convey a masculine feel.  I am planning on painting an accent wall a darker color called Intellectual by Behr.  Then the remaining three walls are going to be painted our favorite grey color, Perfect Taupe by Behr.


So far we have accomplished a lot this month!  I still need to find some wall art for the master bedroom and guest bedroom, pick out a comforter for the guest bedroom, and pick out some throw pillows for the master bedroom.  I was able to declutter the guest bedroom closet this weekend, so that is one more thing off the list!  If we can keep up this momentum, I think we will definitely meet our goals for February.

Until next time, cheers 😉