Mondayness

My Mondays have a bit of a routine and that has been off the past few weeks.  So today, it was time to get back to it (with the addition of printing 100’s of pages of outlines).  I slept in this morning and even fell back asleep after the BOY left the house early for the day.  More surprising is that Cooper let me fall back asleep.  Once my alarm went off around 9am, he came in for a cuddle.  I made breakfast and immediately got down to laundry/printing/tea drinking.  Yesterday’s study session revealed that I am WAY behind and I have A LOT to learn if I hope to be successful with this test.

But there is still housework to be done and food to be bought.  So I did a quick barre class before heading to Target (for printer cartridges and paper), Costco and the grocery store. 

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Then came home to eat lunch (Asian salmon salad) while I folded laundry and threw tonight’s dinner into the crockpot.

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As I studied throughout the afternoon, my house smelled like Chinese take out (yum!) which I would have much preferred to actually making dinner tonight. 

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Cooper attempted to wrestle my ponytail and after the 15th time that he came pouncing across my notes, I got up and fed him his dinner.

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When the BOY came home around 7:30pm, our dinner was hot and ready to go.  Thanks to my trusty crockpot of course.  So I made Kung Pao chicken, but I modified the recipe a bit.  Since the BOY doesn’t like zucchini, I subbed in a big container of Asian veggies.  See notes below…

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Our dinner looked more like stirfry than Kung Pao chicken, and I am not sure if my cornstarch did it’s job.

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But either way, dinner was delicious!  I ran through some note cards and after a long day of Mondayness was ready to finally unwind on the couch a bit to blog a bit, and I finally convinced the BOY to start watching The Blacklist.  Oh…the pilot is good!

What do you do on Mondays?

Do you watch the Blacklist?

Meal Planning 2/23/15

Monday: Kung Pao Chicken

Tuesday: Shrimp Fajitas

Wednesday: Burger Night

Thursday: Take Out (I’m thinking ‘tillos)

 

Crockpot Kung Pao Chicken

From Crème de la Crumb

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic

Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red chile paste (like Sriracha – found near Asian section in more grocery stores)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch + 2 tablespoons cold water
  • ⅓ cup peanuts
  • optional: cooked rice, green onions

Directions

  1. Drizzle a large sauce pan with oil and sauté chicken over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until browned
  2. Add chicken to a greased slow cooker. In a bowl whisk together sauce ingredients: garlic, soy sauce, chile paste, vinegar, brown sugar, and ⅓ cup water. Pour sauce into the slow cooker. Cook on low 3-4 hours or on high 5-6 hours.
  3. About 10-15 minutes before serving, drizzle a pan with oil and sauté peppers, zucchini, and garlic for 2-3 minutes until veggies are tender. Add to slow cooker. *See Note
  4. Whisk together corn starch and cold water until dissolved. Add to slow cooker and stir. Allow to thicken for 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with peanuts and green onions as desired.

*Note: I added my red peppers with the chicken and then stirred in the canned veggies and peanuts with the cornstarch.

After the Storm, The Sun Shines

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And we all go back to our usual routine…

Monday Morning: Sleep in, cuddle with kitten, sip lemon water, and meal plan for the week.

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Make breakfast and throw in last load of laundry.

Clean off car and drive to the gym.

Sweat through 45 minutes of strength work, eat a snack, and head back to the barre for a 60 minute workout.

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Eat snack number 2 on the way to Whole Foods for first of two grocery store trips.

Monday Afternoon: Lunch is leftover chili, followed by a luke warm shower (damn you pilot light), and trip number 2 to the grocery store…this time with the BOY.

Return home and throw dinner in the crockpot, debate on whether to study at home or at library.

BOY calls to have hot water heater fixed and we decide to study at home.

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Brew up some iced tea and get comfortable at the kitchen table to study.

Get repeated kisses from Cooper followed by reminders that it is getting close to his dinner time.

Monday Evening: Still sitting at the table working through outlines with intermittent love from Cooper (who often likes to stop and sit on my book).

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Checking on dinner and waiting for fix it man.  Bad news regarding the water heater leads to much sadness!

Dinner is ready and delicious, devoured while watching the newest Big Bang.

Before finally wrapping up my final outline of the night and settling in to unwind with my favorite evening Castle reruns…packing up lunches and gym bags (I hear they have warm water there) during commercials.

Eyes get heavy…time for bed.

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Let the work week begin!

 

 

Meal Planning 2/02/15

Monday: Slow Cooker Chicken Parm Sandwiches

Tuesday: Steak and Salmon Night

Wednesday: Potato Bar Night

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: TBD

Meet Me at the Barre

I should start by confessing that I have been moving and thinking non stop for 12 hour and am thrilled to sit down, unwind, and blog a bit.  That being said, hang in there with me if I sound a bit loopy as I collect my thoughts : )

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This morning started with a wake up from Cooper, breakfast, and paperwork.  My abs were talking to me a bit after yesterday’s yoga class, which is always a good feeling.  Then I braved the cold to get my car emissions checked before my training session at the gym.  I was ready to go after missing last week’s session to work.   Afterwards, I grabbed my yoga mat and attended the 11am barre class.  Although I don’t typically double up on workouts, I have been wanting to try a barre class for a year or so.  My yoga studio just added them to their schedule…hooray!

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The class times don’t work great with my work schedule except for this one, so I had to check it out.  The class got started and we never stopped.  I was expecting a bit of warm up…maybe a stretch or two, but no.  We did lunges, plies, releves, and arm work.  And that was just the first 10 minutes.  After my strength session, I could barely lift my arms without the weights, but I hung in there.  And then we got to our glutes.  The glute series was brutal and my new friend next to me (who came from the yoga class) and I were laughing by the end because if not, I think I might have cried…ha ha!  And then we finished with core, which was phenomenal and 1 hour later, I was nothing shy of exhausted…but also exhilarated.  The class was REALLY fun!

By the time I arrived home, I was starving.  I had some leftover chicken for lunch on a salad, showered quickly, and then the BOY and I headed out to Costco and the grocery store.  I must say that we have fallen into an easy rhythm of meal planning, and I have fallen into the habit of letting him make dinners during the week.  A habit I could get used to!

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When we got home, we had enough time to unpack our groceries, love on Cooper, and pack up our bags for the library.  The BOY has been a trooper about coming with me while I study, and I find I am way more efficient outside of the house.  The other exciting thing (after 3 straight days at the library) is that I discovered that it has TONS of CD’s.  I have been borrowing some new age and kids music to update my yoga playlists.

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We came back home around 6:30pm and noshed on cheese, crackers, and apples while we started cooking dinner.  The BOY made some delicious shrimp to top our pasta and zoodles.

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I call this photo #couplesthatcooktogether.  Dinner turned out wonderful!  And I even have leftover shrimp for lunch tomorrow.

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Which brings me to now…finally a moment to sit and relax (in between folding laundry) and complain about my sore and tired muscles…ahh!  I had plans to bake these bars tonight, but crashed with some dark chocolate instead.  Life has been exhausting and busy lately.  It has occurred to me that for the next two months that is probably just how it will be…moving from one place to the next, cramming in study sessions where I can.  I’ll  definitely try to sneak in some good workouts (more barre please) and baking too!

 

Have you tried a barre class?  Any tips for beginners?

 

Meal Planning 1/26/15

Monday: Pasta/Zoodles and Shrimp

Tuesday: BBQ Pulled Pork

Wednesday: Chili Night

Thursday: Pork and Veggies