Meal Prep: A first try success story!

So as part of my organization February link up, I decided to try my hand at “prepping”. I don’t mean doomsday prepping if that’s what you’re thinking   PS. I mean meal prepping. So I set out on Sunday afternoon to get my butt ready for dinners this week.

FullSizeRenderThis is a picture of my Erin Condren meal plan insert. These were the meals I wanted to make for dinner this week.

I started out by making the white chicken chili. I found the recipe on Pinterest here:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/119063983871934379/

I figured as a soup option without noodles I could make the entire soup and all we would have to do is heat it up for dinner! I added avocado to the top, which was a nice fresh touch.

My first week went fantastic. I loved getting home each night and just popping something into a pan, warming it up and going! I picked a lot of easy things to prep for my first week- things that I could just literally put in a pan and the meal was done. This week I am going to do mostly meals that don’t need prep. (We decided to play in the snow on Sunday instead of cook (:)

While I was making the white chicken chili, I also made my spaghetti sauce as well as the stuffing for my stuffed peppers. I changed up my normal sauce to add meat this week. The recipe for my sauce is just out of my own head but I have typed it up below. I apologize for the shoddy measuring- I don’t do well with exact.

The stuffed pepper recipe is just my spaghetti sauce with cooked rice! I added a few more peppers and then just put it inside the pepper, cooked in the oven on 375 for around 25 mins. 

Emma’s Spaghetti Sauce
1 onion
1 pepper
A couple cloves of garlic
2 16oz cans of Tomato Sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
Mushrooms- fresh or canned (as many or as little as you like)
I used ½ pd ground beef and ½ pd sausage (get creative, if you like pork- add pork)
Salt, pepper, basil

I browned the meat, set aside. Then I chopped my onion and pepper and sautéed them with a few turns of olive oil. I added some salt and pepper here. Right before you add the tomato sauce, I pressed a few garlic cloves in and let them cook for about a minute. Not too long or you can burn it. Add the cans of sauce. (I usually rinse out my cans with water and throw that in the pot as well) Add a few spoonful’s of the tomato paste here. Sometimes I use the whole can, depends on how long I am simmering. The longer you simmer, the thicker it becomes, letting me use less paste. I throw the mushrooms in now as well. If you used fresh, you can cook them up before but again-if you’re simmering for a while, they are going to cook! Throw back in the meat, add some more salt and pepper and let it cook away! It’s a pretty standard sauce; feel free to customize it as you wish!!

Does anyone else out there prep? Do you have any advice for a new meal “prepper” or maybe some awesome recipes! Feel free to share them with me!

“Your Grown Son Wont Poop His Pants Forever”- a blog by ScaryMommy.com

I want to give credit to [(http://www.scarymommy.com/ “Scary Mommy)] for this blog post. I have read “Motherhood Comes Natuarally” and other vicious lies  by the author of the blog Scary Mommy- Jill Smokler. I tweeted the post here:

I want to disclaimer that this website is intended to be funny. It is intended to make mothers not feel alone in their sometimes overwhelming, always crazy lives. This post hit me very close to home as my daughter sleeps, well, never! I originally read Jill’s book when I was home on maternity leave, about a week after Lily was born. It was like the book was written for me! It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in thinking that the hospital should really have stopped me from bringing this creature home because I had no business raising this wonderful, amazing human being. But I did, and she is growing wonderfully. I highly recommend not only the book but this whole blog and I hope you enjoy!!

Thanks Scary Mommy- keep doing what your doing!

What does everyone else think of Scary Mommy and how did you feel when you first brought home your new little one?

My Plan to plan for my Life Planner :)

https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/emmalincoln0922

The link above is for the life planner that I just purchased. I have no idea if its going to work but was inspired by a blog that I follow- http://kaysepratt.com/2014/12/ultimate-planner-review.html.

This life planner is supposed to simply everything. My resolution is kind of just that- to plan and make my life as easy as possible.

So- my plan for my new planner:

Plan my meals–plan my workouts–plan my cleaning–plan my laundry–plan my goals–plan my doctors appointments(and Lily’s and Heath’s and my dog and cats)–plan my blog ideas–plan my shopping needs–plan other needs–plan our budget–plan–plan–plan!!

I will keep you up to date on how my planning of my planner goes- when I get my planner, it should be here by next week and then I can put my plan into my planner and put my plans into action!!

(PS- yes I know I used plan a lot 🙂 )

“All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”

“All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”

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I decided to try this book. On the face, it seems like just another parenting book but I feel like I am in a very volatile part of my, Lily, and my husband’s life that- heck- I would try it.

I just started, only read the introduction and at first- hated the way it was going. It began by talking about how hard, and awful, and tiring, and emotionally exhausting it can be to be a parent. I thought it was going to be a book practically bashing parenthood, but then it gave this paragraph:

“Drawing from 1.7 million Gallup surveys collected between 2008 and 2012, researchers Angus Deaton and Arthur Stone found that parents with children at home age fifteen or younger experienced more highs, as well as more lows, than those without children. (They’ve just submitted their results for publication.) And when researchers bother to ask questions of a more existential nature, they find that parents report greater feelings of meaning and reward-which to many parents  is what the entire shebang is about…….”Some people have flippantly concluded that these studies can be boiled down to one grim little sentence: Children make you miserable. But I think it’s more accurate to call parenting, as the social scientist William Doherty Does, “a high-cost/high reward activity.” And if the costs are high, one of the reasons may be that parenthood today is very different from what parenthood once was. “

And I decided to give it a shot. The jury is still out, so I will keep you updated on whether it has all the secrets that no one else seems to have on just what exactly, it is to be a good parent. The book promises nothing- all it promises is to give a different perspective- what childhood does to parents instead of what parenthood does to children.

Just one more tidbit because I really love this quote; I, like most parents I believe, have a serious chip when non-parents talk about life without kids. When they make plans and then say “I wish you could go but you know; you have a kid”. This quote perfectly sums up my current life and I believe most parents with a toddler would agree!

“Prospective parents have no clue what their children will be like; no clue what it means to have their hearts permanently annexed; no clue what it will feel like to second-guess so many seemingly simple decisions, or to be multitasking even while they’re brushing their teeth, or to have a ticker tape of concerns forever whipping through their heads. Becoming a parent is one of the most sudden and dramatic changes in adult life.”

Stay tuned for more, and if you have read the book, are interested, or have some input please feel free to comment!!!

Taking it all in

I have been trying find a way to make the holidays less crazy- not successful as there is over a pound of needles surrounding my dead dead dead Christmas tree, most of my presents are not wrapped, my daughter emptied her entire diaper drawer last night, she refuses to stop trying to put her hands in my toilet (ik, disgusting- but my first toilet lock already broke and I haven’t had time to install the second one yet!) and my house is an overall mess.

Yet, through all of the craziness, the holidays are my favorite time. I love the chaos, I love the lights, I love seeing friends and family and giving (and receiving) presents. I can’t wait to pile all of Lily’s presents around the tree on Christmas Eve and I can’t wait for her to wake up and see them and rip open the paper. Even though she won’t even remember this Christmas, this was one of the reasons I wanted kids! I love spending time with family, sitting around a table with wine- or coffee if you prefer and chatting about nothing in particular. I love the craziness of screaming, excited, sugar high kids playing with all their new toys.

This Christmas my goal is to be thankful- thankful for who and what I have, thankful for the wonderful people that I surround myself with and thankful for all the things that I have. Oh and wine, I am thankful for wine. I want to take all the time that I can to soak up the love and laughter that will be around me. I find myself often thinking about all of the things I could do better. I could be reading to Lily instead of taking one second to sink into the couch. I could be cleaning the toilet instead of just shutting the door so Lily doesn’t stick her hand in it. Could have, should have, would have, I want to forget it all and just absorb. I want to take the extra time to speak to the ones I don’t speak to often and to genuinely enjoy myself.

Now I know some of you are thinking, yeah right- I am going to be running out of my house Christmas morning screaming at my husband not to forget the dang pie. But that is what I will try not to do, try not to yell and to get upset over things that just don’t matter. I will be cooking next Saturday for my family, so we will see if this can truly be pulled off. I didn’t say anything about surviving without wine J I will talk more about it soon, but this train of thought, this bone I have been chewing on kind of leads into my New Year’s Resolution, so check back for that post!

Happy Holidays and thank you for listening!