Day Light Savings Monday

One of the best things about the blog world is learning that I am not the only one who is struggling with the time change!  I slept until 9am on Monday morning (and was in bed by 10 last night) and I should confess that the BOY isn’t even awake yet (as of 10am).



Sleeping Early Sunday Night


Cooper on the other hand seems to be adjusting just fine and was more annoyed than anything as he pounded his 11.2# body against our door this morning in request of breakfast, which eventually I provided.  To him and to myself…

I ate a quick breakfast of rye toast and an egg with spinach and then changed into these awesome new workout tights that I bought at the GAP yesterday.  I mean, yes they are awesome because they are bright and obnoxious, but even more so because they only cost me 5 dollars and some change.  I like the GAP workout clothes and I got two other adorable long sleeve shirts on major sale too!




This morning’s workout was another tough one, but I think my arm muscles are starting to emerge.  Woo Hoo!

The rest of the afternoon was jam packed.  I met a friend and her little one for lunch and then raced back home for the BOY and my 3pm court time at the tennis gym.  It was great to try out my new racket and I learned that in tennis, like biking, the right (and possibly more expensive) equipment can help a beginner look better : )




The BOY and I followed up tennis with our weekly grocery store run.  I swear I spend way more when he comes with me than when I go alone.  I had a plan, but apparently the BOY had a different plan for this week.  I had totally forgotten that it is his spring break, so I picked up some things that he could make for dinner while I was working.  When I got back home, I was starving!  I snacked on some cheese and crackers while unpacking our groceries and putting chili in the crockpot for this week’s lunch.




I cheated a little bit and bought pre cut sweet potato, and it made this recipe come together really quickly!  We had the most beautiful day today, finally, and so I almost didn’t want to make chili.  I eat chili all year long, but just like everyone else, I am craving some warm weather and spring foods! 




That being said, I like having a healthy and tasty lunch and knew that this would do the trick.  While my chili simmered in the crockpot, the BOY made an awesome dinner tonight.




We had our first taste of spring today and with the time change, there will be more sunshine ahead (I hope!)


Did you have trouble adjusting to the time change?


Meal Planning 3/10/14

Monday: Shrimp and Pasta


Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Pesto


Wednesday: Salmon (for me) and Lamb Chops (for the BOY) + Veggies


Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli


Lunch: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili



Crockpot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

From Iowa Girl Eats


1lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
28oz can crushed tomatoes
15oz can beans (I used black beans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 large sweet potato (about 1lb,) peeled and chopped small
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes



Add ground turkey and onion to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink, breaking turkey up as it cooks. Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds then add to a 6 quart crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, except toppings, into crock pot then cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 5-6 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Five for Friday XVI

1. So I brought my Pulled Pork Chili to work to share with my coworkers.  They were big fans!  We are thinking of starting a crockpot share for our leftovers.





2. OMG!  My abs still hurt from Thursday morning’s group exercise class.  Yup, I’ve been to the 6am class two weeks in a row.  I really like the people and it is a kick ass workout!  I’ll be back next week.


3. Tomorrow, I am going to a 2 hour Sun Salutation workshop at this studio in the city.  I’ve never done something like this and I’m looking forward to it!


4. I was almost late to work yesterday because I couldn’t find my cell phone or my cat.  I came back from working out to get ready for work, hung with the Coop kid, we woke up the BOY, and as I was walking out the door, Cooper was nowhere to be found.  I had eaten my eggs (one of his favorites) without him sneaking a bite and opened the dishwasher without him jumping in.  We couldn’t find him anywhere and when I shook his food, he didn’t come running.  I almost started to panic.  Then as a last resort, I opened the downstairs bathroom door and out poured Cooper.  I have no idea how he got in there…and got the door closed, but I was happy to have found him before heading off to work.  Since I didn’t have my phone (still missing at this time, but later found in my car), I couldn’t get a photo that morning, but of course have enough mischievous photos to share.











5. I’m drinking some delicious Cooper’s Hawk wine right now.  Mmmmm!  TGIF!



What are your weekend plans?

Have you ever lost your pet?

Pulled Pork Chili

It was another busy Monday here that involved a lot of running around.




This weekend involved a lot of fun and a little less sleep.  So I crashed last night and was less than happy when my alarm went off this morning.  I started moving at 8am and just stopped to collapse on my couch around 9:30 tonight.  First up…after tea of course, the crockpot meal of the week.




I’ve been wanting to make this recipe from How Sweet Eats and just needed the time to pull it all together.  This morning, I put my meat and beer in the crockpot and then forgot all about it.




I had a session with my trainer.  She worked me hard!  And told me that I was strong.  Lifting weights and powering through burpees, I actually felt strong (Hello Bad Ass Warrior)!  Then I had a meeting to prepare for an upcoming presentation.  On my way home, I swung by the grocery store.  At which point, I remembered my pork.  I was afraid that I would walk in and find a tough piece of meat in the crockpot.  I grabbed the tongs and almost before I touched the meat, it crumbled apart into juicy goodness.  I added in the other ingredients that I had picked up at the grocery store.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any chipotle seasoning, so I used some chipotle Tabasco instead of the red pepper flakes and chipotle seasonings.




The result…a powerful and unique chili!




The BOY (and of course Cooper) agreed!  Check out his cute little tongue!




We had our second tennis lesson tonight.  Although it reaffirmed that I am pretty bad at tennis, it was a lot of fun!  The BOY is thrilled to be getting in a workout and we are really trying to find a place to practice on the weekends that doesn’t cost a lot of money.  Maybe one of these days, the snow will melt and we can return to the outdoor tennis courts.  Although it’s not looking like that will happen any time soon as there is more snow moving in overnight.  Stay warm my friends and make some chili!!!


Meal Planning 1/20/14

Monday: You Pick Two (Soup* Salad and Sandwiches)


Tuesday: Pork Chops with mushrooms


Wednesday: Chicken Parm Burgers


Thursday: Pasta with Meat Sauce?


Friday: TBD


Lunch: Crockpot Pulled Pork Chili


*Not just any soup…my dad’s famous chicken noodle soup!


Don’t forget to take a look at this flavor packed chili on How Good Eats!

Weekend Update

The big talk of the weekend is the weather!  Is this true by you too?  Mostly, the extremely cold temperatures approaching on Monday (and in our case, possibly some snow first).  It’s been hard to tell what is really going to happen with the weather because each news source has a different story and the truth is, we just won’t know until Monday gets here.  However, there is already talk of cancelling schools.



Our Backyard!


I was in bed early last night and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.  But that didn’t happen.  The BOY has been sick with a cold since New Years and it took a turn for worse last night. He was up most of the night coughing.  In hope of a better night’s sleep for me tonight (and for his health), I had him at immediate care this morning minutes after they opened.


The BOY has a sinus infection and possibly double ear infections (although nobody thinks this is possible as we’re supposed to stop getting ear infections at age 9), so we went straight to the grocery store to pick up his prescriptions.  With all of the talk about weather, we decided to stock up on groceries for the weekend ahead, pulling together an easy meal plan.  I can’t tell you the last time I was at the grocery store on a Saturday morning before 10am!




We got the BOY back home, medicated, fed, and settled in his chair. And then I threw an easy turkey chili into the crockpot.  The only thing I had scheduled for today was an orthodontist appointment. I was able to bump it up earlier and since I was heading out, stopped by the indoor track for a run.  I’ve been pretty inactive this past week and was looking forward to catching up on some workouts this weekend.  I wasn’t about to let our adventurous morning in health care get in the way of that.  I ran for 40 minutes and after a week off, I felt great!  I was really energized and happy that I took the time to go to the gym! 


IMG_20140104_143814158 IMG_20140104_144150672

I couldn’t choose just one sleeping Coop picture…he’s just too cute!


When I came back home around 1:30pm, I knew I was in for the rest of the day.  The BOY was snoring by 3:30pm (with Cooper in tow) and I found Adventures in Babysitting on cable.  With the cold weather has come the return of hot lemon water which I have been sipping on ALL day!  Dinner tonight was chili, which turned out fantastic…especially for how easy and pain free it was to make.




Now we are all tucked in to watch possibly my 10th movie in the past week, Monster University.  Perhaps we are tucked in for the next two days or maybe just the night, but either way, we will be prepared!



What’s on your weekend update?



Easy Crockpot Turkey Chili



1.25 lbs ground turkey (I like 93/7)

1 onion, chopped

1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil and garlic

1 8 oz can of chopped green chilies

1 14 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 14oz can of hominy, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp chili powder

2 cloves of garlic, chopped (or 2 tsp of the pre minced kind)



Spray pan with cooking spray and brown meat over medium high heat, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon.

Spray crockpot with cooking spray.  Place meat on the bottom of the crockpot and layer the rest of the ingredients on top.  Stir well and set on low heat for 8-10 hours until flavors are blended and beans soft.

Top with your favorite toppings!

What Does the Car Say?

I’m sure by now you’ve all seen this video (or at least heard the song) because let’s face it, I’m usually the last one to hear about these things.  And when I do it’s usually from the kids who think the fox song is so hilarious that they are laughing out loud, so I pretend to think it’s funny too because then they like me and that makes my job more fun.




But I digress…in all honesty, the pictures of my car from 6:30 this morning didn’t turn out because it was just too dark and too snowy, so I took another one before work.  I think a lot of people heard ALL about the cold in Chicago during last night’s Bears game, but it seems the cold weather has surrounded us all.  As I went to turn on my car, I had this moment of…oh my gosh please turn on…and then of course the song…’What does the car say?’  This morning…mine said ‘burrrrr’!




But I gave it some extra time to heat up and then drove to the gym.  After three days of yoga and barre workouts, I was happy to be running.  Check out the new shiny track surface!  I went with the descending track workout that I discovered earlier in the year and again combined my cool down with walking out the door to run home and shower for work.




Although short, this morning’s workout was powerful and I was starving for dinner as I walked in the door.  I made this crockpot recipe yesterday, slightly adapted from a Pinterest recipe.  This hearty chili was exactly what I needed after the cold day, and I knew there would be leftovers for lunch.  The flavors of the squash are mild, but the spices are flavorful and aromatic.  And my car, now parked in the garage will definitely not be saying ‘Burrr!’ tomorrow morning.




It was great to read through everyone’s comments after yesterday’s post. I hope I didn’t come across whiney!  I certainly understand that meal planning is not the most challenging task I face each week.  But it’s fair to acknowledge that sometimes it’s tough and sometimes when I am really tired, I just want to whine about it : )




Meanwhile, are cats supposed to like avocado???



Alright, I just have to ask it…

What does your car say??? 

Feel free to add in the dance moves here!



Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili

*Adapted from Citron Limette



1½ pound ground turkey

1 chopped onion

½ green pepper, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon diced jalapeno pepper (so my pepper got lost between the grocery store and home, but I would have added this)

2 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice (or 2 14-ounce cans…one of mine was garlic and the other salt free…random!)

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added beans, rinsed and drained (I used black)

2½ cups cubed peeled butternut squash (can buy prechopped)



Brown your turkey with oil or cookie spray over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to break it up.  When meat is cooked, place it on the bottom of a slow cooker, sprayed with cooking spray.

Add in the onion, peppers, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes, beans, squash, and spices.

Stir well and set your crockpot.  Then sit back and enjoy the good smells.


*Note: I adapted this recipe based on what I had in the house and my desire to make it a crockpot recipe : )

Hello Monday…

How I have missed you!

Are you confused?  Don’t be!




For about 4 1/2 years, I worked four 10 hour days with Mondays off.  I had plenty of Sunday Fundays and then used Mondays to exercise, regroup, and relax.  It was fantastic!  In June, my entire schedule changed and I started working on Mondays.  It went ok, but my Sundays became much busier and I never got used to waking up early Monday mornings.  With my new job, I decided to go back to my original schedule.  Welcome back Sunday and Monday Fundays!




After the past two weeks and a crazy busy weekend, I was more than happy to have this Monday off.  Saturday, we had a family wedding!  It has been awhile since the 6 of us have been to a wedding together and we wasted no time getting down on the dance floor and frequenting the photo booth complete with costumes (hence the top photo).




We all crashed at my parents house that night and they provided the perfect after party of snacks and water : )  Sunday morning, everyone was moving a little more slowly except for my mom who herded us out of bed and into the kitchen for brunch.  The game plan was a Birthday celebration for the BOY and my brother (both November birthdays), the Bears game, and chili.  Early on, there was some discussion about bad weather, but it wasn’t until we turned on the TV around 11:30 that we realized tornados had swept through central Illinois and huge storms were coming our way.  There were lots of warnings given and when the suggestion of bike helmets came up on the news, I sprung into action. 




We had some serious rain and hail but we were lucky that the bulk of the storms were farther south.  We watched the start of the Bears game and then there was a LONG delay.  There were plenty of stories from last night’s wedding to share and Hanukkah shopping on Amazon to do.  Not to mention meal planning on Pinterest.  We had some friends come out from the city, and my we made a double batch of Buffalo Turkey Chili, which everyone loved.  Just a note, that my mom put the ingredients in the crockpot which worked well.




We left my parents around 2:30pm to head home to Cooper.  This was his first night by himself and he just looked so sad when we left (see photo).  I wasn’t sure how he would handle the storms.  He was beyond excited to see us, but definitely jumpy with the strong winds.  We spent Sunday afternoon cheering the Bears on to victory (Woo Hoo!) and playing with kitten.




I slept beautifully last night and was excited to head back to another yoga class this morning.  After yoga, I went to Costco and the grocery store, both of which had significantly less people than they typically do on Sundays.  Man, I’ve missed Monday shopping.  When I came home, I threw chili for lunch this week into the crockpot.




I adjusted the original spices a bit leaving out the cocoa and adding more savory flavors.  I also baked up a loaf of clean banana bread with the latest brown bananas hanging out on the counter.




I’m finishing off the day at dinner with my girl friends.  Does it get any better than that?

Welcome back Mondays!




Meal Planning 11/18/13

Monday: Dinner Date with the Girls


Tuesday: TBD


Wednesday: Turkey Burgers


Thursday: Leftovers


Friday: Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken


Lunch: Crockpot Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili




Crockpot Pumpkin Red Lentil Chili

Slightly adjusted from Kitchen Treaty



2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained

2 cups vegetable broth

2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 cup dry red lentils

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 chopped yellow onion

1 medium jalapeno pepper, minced (deseeded and deveined if you’re looking for less heat)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt



Add all ingredients to a large slow cooker. Stir well.

Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or on low for 8 – 10 hours, until lentils are tender and chili is thick and hearty.

Serve with assorted toppings.

I Gave my Crockpot the Weekend Off

Thoughtful of me…I know!

The BOY and I did our grocery shopping on Saturday, so we had to have our plan set early.  Sunday was a gorgeous day!  I had a lot of things that I needed to do around the house including hanging my new arts and craft project (seen below) and my marathon poster.


IMG_0152 IMG_0157 


Plus, I organized the pantry.




Meanwhile, Cooper enjoyed some time in the sunshine!




I also got started with this week’s meal prep.  On tap for lunch this week, Buffalo Turkey Chili.  I should admit that this is also a Pinterest find (and imagine how much more I will find when I have time off between jobs).  The original recipe is from Whipped for Buffalo Chicken Chili, but since we are having chicken for dinner this week, I thought I’d go with turkey.




I started chopping veggies and was struggling.  Then remembered that I could use the BOY’s awesome new knife!  I sliced up all of the veggies for my chili and made a few bags of fresh veggies for the week ahead.  This knife works so well and is SUPER sharp.  It almost makes veggie chopping fun!




I’m not a huge hot sauce girl, but thought I would try adding a few drops (about 1/8th of a cup) of the BOY’s smoked chipotle hot sauce.


IMG_0229 IMG_0230


I let everything simmer for a LONG time because I like my veggies really soft.




This chili has a smoky flavor that makes it unique and delicious!

Save this recipe for the next time you want to give your Crockpot a weekend off!



Meal Planning 11/03/13

Sunday: Mac n Cheese


Monday: Out for Dinner


Tuesday: Leftovers


Wednesday: Beer Can Chicken


Thursday: TBD


Lunch: Buffalo Turkey Chili



What did you do this Sunday?

Do you prepare bags of healthy snacks ahead of time?



Buffalo Turkey Chili

Adapted from Whipped



1 tablespoon olive oil

1.25 lbs ground turkey (97/3%)

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 small onion, chopped

3 large carrot, finely diced

3 celery stalks, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 tablespoon cumin

1/4 cup hot sauce (I used 1/8 cup of smoked chipotle hot sauce)



Heat oil in a 4- quart pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, paprika, and cumin; cook, breaking up the meat, for about 6 minutes until browned.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; cook for 8 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add tomatoes and hot sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 60-75 minutes.

Stir in white beans and continue to simmer for a another15 minutes until the veggies are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with sour cream, avocado, or blue cheese.