Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Inspiration

Hello Friends!

It's been busy in my northwoods this week. And I'm still not 100% from my diverticulitis issue - but definitely much better. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts!! They mean so much to me. ;) 

Along with busy appointments and errands I've been continuing to Spring clean in my home. I spent 4 hours cleaning out my closet yesterday! It had been a LONG time since I'd fully done that -it's a good sized walk in closet by the way. Not fun, but a great job done! But I've full on got Spring in my mind so I thought I'd share a quick 5 today and look back on some pretty Spring flowers and things from my home or yard. I think it's fun to get some inspiration for the new Spring coming ahead, don't you? 


Lilacs are one of my absolute favorites! And they just say Spring to me. It'll be a while yet before they bloom. My in-laws have a giant lilac "tree" - bigger than a shrub or bush for sure! These blooms were from their trees - one has white flowers and the other lavender. Does anything smell sweeter than lilacs in the Spring? 


Of course Easter time is in the Spring. We definitely focus on the spiritual aspects of Easter, but this time of year also brings other traditions. Coloring Easter eggs. I always have some tulips in my house somewhere. And we do different desserts every year - except fruit pizza. We always have some kind of fun and bright fruit pizza (or above multiple pizza cookies) as one of our desserts. Mmmmmm...


When Spring is truly here in my northwoods - all of the leaves grow in all over our backyard and we become our own little island on the bay again. We don't see neighbors across the way and things are green and bright and beautiful! And Ruby loves it as the mud and muck around here stops and we can get out for more walks. ;) 


It always makes me think of my Spring birthday Girl! Annie's birthday comes around the time the lilacs are blooming. ;) 


And of course Spring brings light bright flavors - like lemon! I love all things lemon in the Spring. Breads, muffins, cakes, and my favorite MIL's recipe for lemon bars! And can't forget that first digging in the dirt. Cleaning up the yard, planting flowers, and planting my container gardens! I can't wait! I can almost hear the bees buzzing and smell the dirt and green grass. Anyone else ready for Spring to get here?  

I'm sharing this with Tricky and Carly of the blog FAST for Five on Friday.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Wonder


Our Ruby just got all pretty and clean for Spring! So of course I had to treat her to some Springy doggy cookies from the bakery at the doggy spa (the place is actually called Smooch a Pooch - don't you just love that?) xoxo

Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

Happy Monday to you my Friends! 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend - and to my UK Friends I hope you had a very lovely Mother's Day yesterday! 

It was a bit of a rough weekend in my northwoods as I have been suffering with a bout of diverticulitis. My Mom has had these issues on and off for years...and I guess I am following in her footsteps ((thanks Mom - Lol)). Thankfully I have not had severe pain like she has had in the past. But I did need to do a clear liquid diet for about 4 days. I've been slowly introducing "gentle" food back in and still partly doing clear liquids too. Lots of water. Not fun - but this too shall pass and hopefully after a gentle week ahead I'll be back on track. The one perk - down 8 lbs in 5 days.

So it was a quieter weekend overall for me. Although, Annie and I did have plans to see Beauty & the Beast with my SIL and niece and one of my Besties and her 2 daughters. So we did go out for that - and even though all I could do was drink Sprite at dinner, it was a very fun night. And the movie was SO good!!! Now I'm on to a very busy week ahead, unfortunately, as I'm still not quite at 100%. 


It's kind of gray and cloudy this AM - although they're saying we may get a bit of sun later. In the 40's today and looks like the temp for most of the week...and we may even hit low 50's a couple of the days! No rain in the forecast either- yay! Hopefully we can dry out a bit around here and the last of the snow will go. Maybe I'll even be able to take Ruby for some walks if it gets less messy. 


Jello and some coffee. Keeping it gentle folks. 


Listening to Praise and Worship on Pandora and going through my calendar looking at the week ahead. 


Gray and kind of blah looking out there right now. Although only a few small patches of snow here and there. Lots of grass around now too! 


Laundry is going and I just need to do a bit more tidying up. Our sheets need changing as I didn't get to them this weekend. Some of the bathrooms need love too. It's a Monday. ::sigh::

ON TODAY'S (& this week's) TO DO LIST:

I thought my kiddos were off for Spring break this week, but it's actually next week. So lots on the agenda this week. My daughter has a conference and I have an ortho appt to meet with the ortho doc and discuss when she's getting her braces, cost etc. She also has volleyball practices this week and a haircut. My son has some soccer practices, work for his Dad and a medical appt and a haircut too. Both kiddos have religious ed. Plus, I'm going to Spring clean our bedroom and go through my closet. Yikes!! That is going to be a hefty job! But it needs doing and when I'm not having to run around this week I'm going to lay low at home and accomplish something. Also, still waiting to hear if my MD is going to want me to come in for tests related to my diverticulitis. Yuck. 


Haven't done a lot of focus on reading recently. Magazines and the newspaper, crosswords etc. 


Grey's Anatomy catch up. Annie and I watched Spring Championship baking show last night. Watched Billions with Hubby. Still other cooking shows catch up. And Hallmark mystery movies taped. Love those! ;) 


MONDAY: leftovers (I had made a big chicken and veggie pasta salad on the weekend for my Crew and I made homemade bone broth for myself and had made chicken soup with it. Plus, I baked some banana bread too. We have salad and fixings too for them.)

TUESDAY: breakfast for dinner

WEDNESDAY: Blue Apron delivery - shiitake mushroom burgers with miso mayo and roasted sweet potatoes 

THURSDAY: seared chicken with french lentils and arugula salad  B.A. meal

FRIDAY: kale and white cheddar quesadillas with radishes and fried eggs (B.A. meal)  

**Still enjoying Blue Apron meals and one thing I might not have mentioned is that you can "skip" any weeks you want easily through your account. So some weeks ahead when it doesn't look like enough meals we'd be interested in I've already put a "skip" on them. This week is still okay as it's food my Hubby and son will eat for the most part - even if I'm not up for it yet. 


Scrapbook catch up and organizing kids school files in their bins (I have files in their bins for their artwork, report cards, awards etc through each grade). Hubby got a lot more done in laundry room (we were on delay due to some wiring things we needed electrician to look at)... and will probably get the rest of the big stuff done in there next weekend. He had to do a lot of hockey coaching this past weekend too as summer hockey practices had begun and he's coaching my daughter's team and another team in the program too. I'm still searching for something cute to hang int there once it's done also.


Not sure I'll be doing much new this week other than B.A. meals.


visible money - always a motivator! Lol


More bunnies and bits of Spring around my home. I'll share a post with lots of my decorations in the future. ;) 

Getting in extra devotional time during this season of Lent. And on a cold rainy day this past weekend it was a perfect thing to do next to the fire with my soothing ginger tea. 

Ruby has been very intent on our yard and all the Spring activities with birds and bunnies. She needs a haircut and goes for one this week too! 

Image result for grateful for health inspiration

I'm sharing this with Sandra of Diary of a SAHM for Happy Homemaker Monday.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Fun New Meals

Hello Friends! 

Yay it's Friday! I hope you all have some lovely plans for the weekend. I know one thing on the agenda of my lovely Annie girl and myself is seeing the new Beauty and the Beast movie! It looks so good! ;) 

However, for my 5 things today I'm going to share about the new food service my Hubby and I decided to receive recently. I know there are many kinds out there, but after doing some research we decided we wanted to try Blue Apron.  They have ingredients prepped and sent with recipe cards with how to prepare the dishes. Here is some info off of their page: 

So once you sign up you can set up your menu for each week. We are doing the 2 person plan (there's also a family plan) - as our kiddos can be less adventurous so we thought it wouldn't pay for that many ingredients. For a little less than $60 a week we receive the food and recipes for 3 healthy, balanced, but flavorful (gourment-like) meals.  You can read up more all about it for yourself here. 

So once I signed up I looked ahead at several weeks worth of meals and chose my menu. I specified in my account what kinds of meals I'd be okay with them sending (ex. fish, pork, beef, chicken, vegetarian, seafood)  I thought this would be a great way to introduce my family to some different kinds of foods too. I had fish on my list initially, but have since changed it - as I thought my Hubby and son would be more adventurous about trying it, but it's clear that's a not going to happen. I'm the only fish eater. So I changed it as it's too much food for those meals for just me. But we've found out we like the flavor of sweet miso, we've tried freekah, and had other flavor adventures that have been a lot of fun so far! There are many "common" kinds of foods too - just with some different fun ingredients at times. Like coming up there is a white cheddar and kale quesadilla with fried egg on top. Or a shiitake mushroom burger with miso mayo and roasted sweet potatoes. And a spinach and fresh mozzarella pizza.  So I'll share what the box was like when it came and then I'll share some of the meals we've received so far.

These are photos of the panels on the box, then I pulled all of the ingredients out (it's a refrigerated box): 

In the box was a lot of fresh produce, packs of meat/fish, and these "knick knack" bags labeled according to what meal you were making.  It held all the extras like pickled jalapenos, little bottles of vinegar etc. 

And then of course the step-by-step recipe cards for each meal. I found them very easy to follow. So here are some of the meals we've enjoyed so far:


One of the first meals I made were these pork tacos with jalapeno pineapple salsa. They were really yummy! I marinated and seasoned some cabbage first and made a jalapeno (I did ours pretty mild) pineapple salsa for on top of the flavorful pork mixture. I warmed up the tortillas in the oven as directed as well. The above photo was of my own plate of tacos that night. 

Cotija Mexican cheese was perfect on these.

Here's a photo of the salsa after I made it.

And the pork mixture.

I didn't take too many photos of the other meals when I made them. But I will say that they all turned out like the photos and they have all been very tasty. 


This meal was sweet miso butter chicken and carrots with kale and a side of freekah. 

Here's the photo I took of my plate after I'd eaten some. My son enjoyed this meal with us and we thought it was very tasty. Sweet miso paste is put in with butter (they provide wonderful European style butter packs) to make a yummy pan sauce. The freekah was a lot like quinoa or brown rice - which I like, but my boys were less impressed. I also had cut up some cantaloupe we had so that's why you see that on my plate. 


This meal was seared smoky cod with roasted potatoes in an arugula salad. I'm the only one that ate this one. I forgot to take a photo but it turned out so pretty on my plate. And it was probably my favorite meal I've had so far. It was SO tasty!! I even had pink lemon squeezed on my fish. I've never had pink lemon before. Lol 


This one was fontina and beet grilled cheese with mixed citrus salad. Also very tasty - although my son said he didn't care for the beets. 


These are the meals next up on my fridge right now that we haven't made yet. A pesto pasta with a butter lettuce salad with creamy lemon dressing. And catfish with black garlic mayo and jasmine rice. 

**I would say that overall we have had a very positive experience so far. I love the variety. I love that we're trying different flavors and types of food. We're eating healthier. And I love that it comes right to my door.  I love the quality of their fresh food. They provide everything other than the oil (like olive oil) that I'm cooking things in and salt and pepper.  I also like that if you're using a fresh herb they send just the right amount- so I don't have a big bunch of parsley going bad & getting wasted in my fridge. The 2 person meals seems to work out well for us. If my son is interested in trying it too (our daughter not so much yet), my Hubby and I just share some of our portions. 

I am receiving nothing for saying this. This is purely me sharing what's up in our home recently and how we're liking it. However, Blue Apron sends all customers "free meals" they can email to others. I'm not sure how it works - it doesn't say other than to say that we can share free meals with a friend and we just need to provide an email. If you are interested in this let me know or email me and I can get your info and have it Blue Apron email you. I happened to have received a promotional flyer in the mail and that got our first 3 meals for only like $25 (I don't remember the amount exactly). 

I'm sharing this with Carly and Tricky of FAST for Five on Friday. Thanks for taking over guys!