Feeling Almost Back To Normal

This week has been good. We are finally feeling almost back to normal. By this I mean, meals were shared together, exercise routine is back to an actual routine, and peaceful sleep was had all week long.

Let’s start with exercise shall we. Typically, I workout in the early morning hours at our local gym….by early I mean 5:00a.m.. With summer here my job gets much more physical when we can finally get outside and enjoy the outdoors instead of everything indoors like during the winter months. So during the summer I concentrate on making it to the gym twice a week in the early morning, I then bike on my stationary bike the other two mornings, and one day I take off for rest….not from work just from exercise. And then my husband and I have begun walking area trails for about 3 miles after dinner. Add this with many additional steps put on during the day while playing outside chasing daycare kids around and by 8p.m. I am typically falling asleep on the couch.

IMG_1161

IMG_1165

IMG_1166

As for meals, I finally feel like we are eating regular and not grabbing and going to the next thing on the agenda. If you have been a long time follower you will know that grabbing and going is not easy with my husbands artificial sweetener allergy so this has been a real struggle to keep juggling. Although, I am happy to report we are back to eating regular meals and enjoying the time to sit, eat, and chat about our day. One the menu this week was a new lentil ham soup and BBQ chicken quesadillas. Both turned out fabulous!

IMG_1155

IMG_1156

That will be it for today. We actually have plans on the calendar for the weekend…..finally!!!!! Now I am just praying for no rain and sunshine so I don’t freeze since we will be enjoying some water play. It is summer after all, so that means it’s time to enjoy all the rivers and streams Wisconsin has to offer.

 

Advertisements

Balance….I Am Trying So Hard To Find It

Where to begin is often that hardest part of writing here. I feel like I have not shared much of what this blog was intended for lately since, to be brutally honest, I have not been out much enjoying the outdoors that I love so much. Believe me, I want to but time and weather and life have just not been cooperating to allow for this type of activity.

So, what have I been up to? A few things actually. Let’s see, I recently fell in love with riced cauliflower and although I think it is ungodly expensive to purchase, I have found it is super easy to prepare yourself if you have the right kitchen tools. So after purchasing one bag of frozen riced cauliflower to try, I now make my own with a head of clean cauliflower and my food processor. In a matter of minutes I have three times more for half the price.

IMG_1154

You may be wondering why life has not allowed me out much. Ultimately, it boils down to priorities. We own a house, three vehicles, I run a daycare out of my home for my job, and I also handle all the normal wifely matters from cleaning to cooking to budgeting….you name it and I do it. For the past few years my husband has really been pitching in and helping with the yard, bushes, cleaning, and so on but a few months ago his job took a turn and now he is traveling at least half, if not more, of the time. The change has been good in some instances and not so good in others.

IMG_1138

Yes, his employer typically flies him home on Friday evenings and then back out again Monday mornings. Although, this leaves us very little time to get everything done and still find time to enjoy life. So priorities have taken up much of my life. If I don’t do all what needs to be done during the week then that leaves us even less time to find fun time in the 48 hours he is home every week. We have ventured out on close by trails but nothing to far and no serious mileage has been accomplished yet this summer. Balance…we are still working on trying to find a balance.

IMG_1131

Speaking of balance, due to some last minute changes at work my husbands flight plans got changed for the Father’s Day weekend and this left him and our son the time to finally take out the boat and get in a few hours of fishing time. It was a very successful fishing trip and they both seemed to really have a great time.

IMG_1153

Father’s Day dinner was also a success since we once again had a nice family dinner together. Meal times have really changed since our son moved into his own apartment so this was quite the treat to share a meal together like old times. On the menu was baby red garlic mashed potatoes, BBQ ribs with homemade rib rub, and corn on the cob.

Those ribs look good but don’t let them fool you all. I am still sticking to my 50% meatless meals around here. By no means are we going vegetarian but eliminating meat and sticking to fish and veggie based meals has been a game changer for our health and how we feel.

IMG_1135

In the upcoming weeks I am really hoping to get in a river float or two, make a trip two hours south to our nearest Trader Joe’s, dust of my standup paddle board in the Bay of Green Bay, make a trip to a friends cabin for the day, and maybe even fit in a camping trip or two. Maybe these will all be solo trips or maybe they will be a couples outing….I do not know quite yet. For now I will leave you all guessing since that is also what I am doing.

 

 

Eating Our Way Through Port Washington, WI….Downtown Historic District

On our 24 hour escape from Green Bay to Port Washington, Wisconsin’s Historic District we ate at three restaurants all on Franklin Street. (you can read part one of this trip here)

IMG_0590Since our whole goal was to walk everywhere this was the perfect location. Our hotel was located at one end of this street with shoppes, restaurants, and other businesses peppered in between.

IMG_0524

IMG_0560

This made getting around super easy. Our first stop was lunch on Saturday at the Schooner Bar and Grill. We are normally not bar and grill goers but the sign our front had some yummy things listed so we went for it. We were immediately greeted and told if we wanted a good view to head up to the upstairs room where we could enjoy lunch over looking the harbor. Well, yes, no more needed to be said, we headed upstairs. And wow what a great room…all windows, the roof opens when its warm enough, and you can see everything. Awesome!

IMG_0527

IMG_0528

IMG_0542

Service was friendly, view was wonderful, but how was the food? Well, the menu is small, but variety is there….and remember, it’s a bar before it’s a grill so keep this in mind when choosing this establishment. Anyhow, we each had sandwiches….mine was the grilled chicken and my husband had the smoked brisket. And both were wonderful. Super tasty, cooked perfectly, and very filling. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a great sandwich.

IMG_0530

IMG_0531

Dinner brought us a bit further down Franklin Street to the Wicked Grill which also had a sign out front that I saw earlier in the day that said…… can you imagine reuben eggrolls??? Oh yes I can imagine…..and as you can guess, I am already working on remaking these myself at home.

IMG_0639

IMG_0533

We arrived, were once again greeted ,and seated in the back where meals are served. IMG_0629

We began with margaritas and the sampler platter. Yes, we walked for miles and we were starving. Plus, we walked here so we could each finish the evening with a drink.

IMG_0635

IMG_0636

I will confess, I ate all but one half of those two whole egg rolls….I only let my husband have 1/2 of one. He did get all the cheese curds though….that’s fair…right? Whom ever came up with stuffing an egg roll wrapper with reuben fillings should be the employee of the year since they were by far the best thing I ate in forever. My entree here was the pulled pork BBQ salad and this was also superb. I would return here without a doubt next time I am in the area. It was all fabulous.

IMG_0638

Then Sunday morning we awoke to catch the sunrise over Lake Michigan before heading back down Franklin Street for breakfast. IMG_0640

IMG_0643

IMG_0646

We saw the night before a place called  Daily Baking Co and it opened at 6a.m. on Sundays so this was one of only a few places we could get breakfast.

IMG_0654

We arrived chilly from being outside in the brisk morning winds and immediately ordered coffee and a breakfast sandwich each. Everything we ordered was once again wonderful.

IMG_0661

And then we sat down in the nicely decorated coffee shop and enjoyed the scents of fresh bakes goodies coming from the kitchen.

IMG_0658

IMG_0659

IMG_0655

IMG_0656

After this we took one more cold chilly walk around the harbor area before heading home and back to reality. As for the eats in this part of town, I really can’t say anything bad about any of the places we chose to enjoy a meal while we escaped for 24 hours. They were all wonderful for their own reasons….especially those egg rolls!!!!

IMG_0662

IMG_0672

IMG_0673

I walked out on this pier not 12 hrs prior to this…..what a change a few hours can make. If I had waited until today I would have been wet and cold!

This is Saturday:

IMG_0593

This is Sunday:

IMG_0665

 

When That Solid Plan Falls Apart

Going into this week I had a pretty solid plan. However, by mid morning Monday that plan had drastically changed in more ways than one. Which ultimately meant it was going to be a wild ride….especially since I was solo this week with the hubby traveling for work. Although, looking back at the week, I still did pretty good in the meal area so it was not a total failure.

Here is what we (my son and I) enjoyed this week:

Saturday: BBQ pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, and parmesan potatoes

IMG_0370

Sunday: Vietnamese vermicelli bowls

IMG_0375

Monday: chicken breakfast sausage(recipe here), eggs, and cheese on biscuits

IMG_0094

Tuesday: lentil veggie chowder (recipe here)

IMG_9930

Wednesday: I went out with my brother for our monthly dinner together

IMG_0379

Thursday: one pot ham and parmesan pasta casserole with broccoli and spinach

IMG_0380

Friday: My son offered to prepare dinner tonight since it would just be us and I had had a long, hard day of emotional family stuff. He made an egg skillet with peppers, onions, and andouille sausage and served it with jalepeno cheese bread. YUM!!!

IMG_0382

Not terrible right? Could have been better but really could have been worse also. From freezing cold mornings once again which made my morning gym sessions too cold, to a death in the family which then resulted in an unexpected day off of work, to a fall on the ice…ouch, and a disaster in airports due to a major snowstorm which brought my husband home at 2 a.m. instead of the original 4 p.m.. I, for one, am so darn happy to bid this week goodbye!

As for the next week, it was a tough call. I hate throwing out food but not knowing if my husband would be traveling once again for work or not left me two menu plans. One for two people and one for four people(one serving being a lunch box serving of leftovers) which in turn made grocery shopping a free for all. So I was sort of flying by the seat of my pants not knowing exactly how much to buy or not buy. I was trying to plan for not to much veggie waste if he would be gone but also to have enough if it was cancelled and he would be staying home. What’s worse than having to grocery shop twice in one week when you don’t have enough or forgot something right? So here is what I came up with for food prep for the week.

I cooked up some cinnamon apples for my daycare child and my husband(if home) to enjoy. IMG_0378

I made some carrot coconut muffins for breakfast for everyone to enjoy. I also pre cut all veggies for the week and also threw together a quick batch of mexican quinoa for myself to have for lunch all week.

IMG_0400

 

 

Meal Recap-New Recipes Are So Much Fun

Goodness, I had a long week. Good but long….yoga Saturday is going to feel so wonderful! On that note, I am keeping it short and sweet today. Here is what we enjoyed for dinner all week…see something yummy you want to try, let me know and I will get you the recipe.

Saturday: veggie enchiladas (new recipe and surprisingly it was a hit)

IMG_0223

Sunday: chicken fajita seasoned brats with veggies over farrow

IMG_7010

Monday: Spanish chicken and cauliflower skillet with crusty bread(another new recipe and another hit…yeh)

IMG_0235

Tuesday: BBQ chicken from my new clean eating cookbook, pita bread, roasted carrots, and kale side salads (one more new recipe….that make 3 for three this week and all a hit)

IMG_0068

IMG_0236

Wednesday: general tso’s chicken and broccoli IMG_9967

Thursday: homemade egg biscuit sandwiches with homemade chicken breakfast sausage IMG_0094

Friday: out

Meal Prep:

This week I needed to whip up another batch of homemade fajita seasoning since we can’t find any without artificial sweetener in it in our area.

IMG_0229

Since I knew this week would be a doozie….I made a big batch of homemade pea soup so I get to eat also. There are many times I often find myself so busy caring for the children during the day and taking care of everything else I take care of, that eating is often forgotten. That is until I have the shakes and a headache from not eating and then it dawns on me….did I eat lunch today? And sure enough, this is the perfect time for a big ole cup of hearty pea soup. IMG_0240

I also washed and pre cut any veggies that could be pre cut for the upcoming week of recipes. Then we saw that a snow storm was going to be what we woke up to Monday and Tuesday morning which meant our alarm would go off at 3a.m instead of 4a.m. so a fast breakfast was needed. Carrot muffins are healthy and a good “on the road” breakfast for these types of mornings being both my husband and son travel a good distance to get to work. And of course I made my staple, hard boiled eggs for breakfast.

IMG_0242

There you have it, another week of great meals and a week of meal prep ready to go.

Are you a meal planner or do you wing it and see what happens?

What’s your favorite go to breakfast?

 

 

Weekly Meal Inspiration

Winter may not be here quite yet on the calendar but it officially arrived here in WI with frigid temperatures and high winds on Tuesday. Mondays high where I live was 61…..and then it was over!!!!! Time to dig out all the winter gear, time for my hair to freeze rock solid when I walk out of the gym a bit sweaty, time for my lips to crack every time I smile, and by looking below at our week of meals, it’s time for soup.

Here is what we enjoyed this:

Saturday: BBQ chicken pizza

IMG_0053

Sunday: no boil lasagna and side salads

IMG_7051

Monday: pork and banana peppers on rolls with provolone cheese, sweet potato rounds and a side of cranberry sauce…I just had to make one more batch before cranberries are scarce once again.

IMG_0057

Tuesday: cowboy caviar filled wonton wrappers and leek soup

IMG_0063

Wednesday: out with my brother

Thursday: crock pot beef, barley, and veggie soup

IMG_0073

Friday: out

This weekend I plan to wrap gifts, continue working on the Christmas menu, and attend yoga class for some me time. Enjoy your weekend and I will be back with one last week of postings before I take a bit of a Christmas break. Can you believe the holiday is so close….where does time go?

Recent Random Thoughts

Hi, how is your week going? Mine is good….and almost over, yeh!!! Just a few more hours to go.

With no great workouts to share with you all since I am mostly just walking area trails and riding my bike giving my body time to heal, I thought I would share some random things today. My brain is often like a never ending trail to nowhere and sharing it sometimes helps relieve some of the “pressure” shall we say.

IMG_8917

I’ve been up to a lot but at the same time not so much….is that possible? Makes no sense I know but that is how I feel lately. Summer has not been what I thought it would be and now we are into August and we all know what that means….it’s almost over! It’s weird to think my mind still runs on the school calendar when my son has not been in grade school for years already. How do us moms break out of this and just take every day as it is….I haven’t figured that out quite yet but I am working on it? Which is why, as of the end of August, I consider summer over. However, I know in my mind we have plenty of nice days left in September and even some in October but ultimately it comes to an end so quickly.

IMG_4575

Speaking of September and October, I do believe I have over booked all our weekends once again for these two months. Fall is the best time in my opinion to hike, camp, explore the area and enjoy harvest time. Bugs are dying down some, colors start to appear, veggies are plenty, and it’s cooler so camping and hiking are much more pleasurable. Now I just have to find a way to tell my husband I only left him two weekends for hunting in the fall months….he may not like this very much!

Anyhow, let me tell about some treasures I have found lately. First, I must give a big shout out to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market here in our area. We have fell in love with their meat department and if you know me, that is saying A LOT! I am not a meat lover but my husband is. I have a hard time buying it, preparing it and eating it but my attitude has changed a bit since this store has opened. We are loving their meats.

IMG_8766

IMG_8919

I have also found an essential oil room freshener that I love and does not cost an arm and a leg. (I paid $7) I hate chemical fresheners and don’t want the overwhelming smell of a plug in oil freshener since I don’t want the aroma all the time. Which makes this spray perfect and I can use it when I wish and not gag when I spray it in my home like the chemical fresheners cause me to do. I know it says it can be used as a body mist also but I have not gone this route…I strictly use it for our home and vehicles.

IMG_8928

Once again I am attempting to grow my green thumb and I am going to try and grow a prickly pear plant or two. We fell in love with this fruit in Arizona and I recently kept the seeds from one we purchased here in WI. I would bet it’s not going to grow and if it does it may not survive but I have to give it a try. Here’s hoping for a touch of the southwest in good old Green Bay. On the flip side, if I do not succeed at growing one myself I can always plan another trip for fresh fruit. I know none of my family would object to returning to this area.

IMG_6047

Speaking of vacations, we are inching our way closer to our next one and I cannot wait to step foot on the A.T.( Appalachian Trail) once again. Back in January 2017 I made this dream come true and finally got to log some miles on the A.T. with my husband and son. Our next trip will bring us back to the A.T. only in a different state and I plan to log even more miles and hopefully make more wonderful memories. However, this time it will be just the two of us since our son recently started his new job and is not bale to join us for this adventure.

IMG_6888

That shall be it for today. Enjoy your weekend…..that’s my plan.