Weekly Menu: Jan. 30-Feb. 5

So I’ve been having a lot of requests for the recipes I use.  I don’t always make up recipes, so most of the time I use the recipes I find on Pinterest 🙂 But, I will try to make a compilation of all the recipes I use for those of you that like to follow my posts, especially on Instagram. I don’t repeat recipes too often, so if you are looking for recipe inspiration that is tried and true for your little family, I hope I can help!

Here we go!

This weeks menu is as follows:

  • Monday: Hawaiian Meatballs from Fake Ginger.  This is a recipe I do actually repeat a lot! Nate absolutely love it.  It is sweet with a little kick at the end of each bite. Not to mention way, way easy!  I use frozen meatballs from Costco to make it even simpler. Just remember to not add the cornstarch and water until 30 minutes before you will serve it. I’ve tried to put it in when everything else goes in, but it never thickens the sauce as well as it does when it’s done at the end.
  • Tuesday: Low Carb Tacos. This is a simple ground beef taco with all the normal toppings you’d normally put on a taco, such as shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa and olives. However, the taco shell is actually Butter Lettuce which makes for the perfect shell!
  • Wednesday: Chipotle Burrito Bowl from What’s Gaby Cooking.  I’ve made these once before and they are delicious!  If you like Chipotle’s burrito bowls, you’ll love this recipe. It has that smoky adobo flavor that I absolutely love. Another plus: cheaper than actually going out to eat 🙂
  • Thursday: Open Faced Chicken Caprese Sandwich from Cooking and Cooking. This is a new recipe we’re going to try this week. It’s a sandwich on a French baguette with tomato, mozzarella and basil so not sure how this could go wrong! I think we may add some fresh avocado to it as well.
  • Friday: Chicken Thighs with Red Potatoes and Asparagus. This is one I will make up on the fly. I love recipes like this because it all goes on a sheet pan and cooks together. Very little prep and hardly any dishes! Just simply flavor your chicken however you like (e.g. lemon pepper, Raspberry Chipotle sauce from Costco, Italian Seasoning and garlic, Season All) and toss your potatoes and asparagus (separately) in olive oil, salt and pepper. I think I’ll add a little lemon juice to my asparagus.  Cook until chicken juices run clear or internal temperature is at 165.

Below is my grocery list for the week. I’ll bet on about $50 for this menu. Oh, did I mention we are having people over for dinner twice this week? Yep, $50 bucks for a full week of food, and 2 nights of entertaining 🙂 That’s money well spent my friends!

20170130_111746

Questions?  Let me know how I can help! These are all pretty quick recipes that will fill your mouth with all kinds of happy flavors.  The best part is that most are customizable. Make it work for your own little family 🙂 I hope this is helpful and makes you all as happy as it does me 🙂

xoxo, Madi

You Can’t Always Do it Yourself

I don’t know why, but this is has been on my mind for the last few days. Maybe it’s the #womensmarch that spurred it… (Not a fan of it or the thought process behind it, but that’s another topic for another day). I think it spurred it because it seems like this whole “feminism” thing that has been going on lately is more about how to be completely independent rather than have the courage to lean on others for help and support. We don’t need help from anyone else, right? Wrong.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand, I have been thinking about how feminism seems to be centered around the thought that all women have to be fiercely independent and not need any help from anyone- especially from men #manhatters  Personally, I think this is crazy! I think of everything that I am involved in from “Homemaking” Activities, to dinner parties, to keeping up our home and planning meals, and there is almost nothing that I am entirely able to do on my own. Sure, it technically can be done by me, myself and I, but it is so much easier and faster to have other help.

Currently, I am the head of our Activities Committee for Relief Society in my ward. We have a meeting at least once a month to plan our next activity and I always come with my head and my notebook full to the brim of ideas. It think that I have everything planned out perfectly until my committee starts to have a discussion. They bring up things that I never thought of, they come up with ideas and activities that never even crossed my mind as a possibility. These women on my committee come from all different backgrounds and bring a lot to the table. If it were just me on the committee, it would be a failed attempt nearly every time.

Saturday, I was planning our menu for this week. I had planned to do a Cafe Rio style salad for dinner tonight and use the rest of the pork to have enchiladas one night and baked potatoes another evening. When I had originally planned this, I was thinking I would be saving money by having the meat carry on through the rest of the week, but my grocery list was longer than it has been in probably 3 months. My husband called me today and asked if I had gone grocery shopping yet. He then suggested getting some pizza from Riggatti’s tonight during their $6 pizza deal, use some of our frozen meatballs and Raspberry Chipotle sauce for another meal, and find a recipe to use some of our Cream of Chicken soup in our pantry.

This may seem super basic, and probably not significant in the least, but it really hit me how much I need others in my life. Nate was smart enough to use what we already have on hand, and while I often do try to do this anyways, sometimes, I don’t see what is right in front of me.  With Nate having the same goal as I do- to save as much money as we can- we have been able to do so much better than if I just did it on my own. That partnership and teamwork is one of my absolute favorite things about marriage. We each lift where the other may falter, we work together to make a complete picture.

Just food for thought. Just something I had to get off of my chest and out of my mind. Life isn’t about doing things on your own. It’s about learning how to work together to make life better. Coming together as a collective group that are all individual parts with completely different roles, but together makes a whole, functioning body.

 

Looking Back to Face Forward

We all have bad days.  My bad days usually consist of me looking at all the “bad” things I see in myself or telling myself I’m not doing very well because of things I haven’t done. Call it a “sin of omission”.  A few days ago, I had one of those days. 2016 was coming to a close and as I reflected on the year, I started to feel bad for myself because of the things I hadn’t done… I didn’t write a blog post every month, I didn’t meet my weight loss goal, I didn’t… I didn’t.. I didn’t.

How horrible is it to look back on a year of your life like that?!  It is sad and disrespectful to yourself. I realized I was starting to go down a bad hole real quickly and had to work at pulling myself out. But, it became easier as I remembered how great my life actually is.  So, instead of focusing on the things I didn’t do, I want to reminisce a little about the things I DID do so I can make 2017 even better 🙂

January

  • Spent a weekend in Downtown Salt Lake with some of our best friends for a free night at the Little America Hotel. Included a stroll around City Creek, card games in the hotel rooms until 2 o’clock a.m., Sunday morning rehearsal of Music and the Spoken Word, and the best buttermilk pancakes EVER at the Park Cafe.

February

  • Parade of Homes.  My favorite thing… I love seeing all the creativity and different design elements of each home.
parade-of-homes
Parade of Homes… one of my favorite homes
  • February, one of my best friends also came home from her mission.  Crazy how much changed in 18 months!
  • We also went out to Kanab for their Hot Air Balloon Festival.  I have always had a love for hot air balloons. Being able to see all of these lit up in one place was a dream.  Not only was it cool when we got to let off paper lanterns together as well.  It was so very… Disney 🙂

March

  • My 2 best friends from high school got hitched!  It was so much fun to be a part of their special day.  I was also blessed to be able to assist them and their awesome photographer as we hiked through Snow Canyon for their bridals they took that day. You know you are awesome when you hike (and I mean literally) with high heels and a skirt 🙂
bff-wedding
This is what I hiked in, heels and all… But isn’t Randy BEAUTIFUL!!!
  • March also brought flowers into the Southern Utah world. my love for daisies (especially African Daisies) was rekindled.
  • Went to a Caucus for the first time. Thankful for my dad who set the example to not only me, but many others in the room to stand up and speak up when something seems wrong. I loved seeing him stand up for what he believes in instead of just letting something happen.
  • Spent Easter with Nate’s family. We tie-dyed eggs this year.

April

  • Tried my hand at onion rings. They ended up tasting really good, the only problem was there was way too much batter for the two of us 🙂 Dinner was garlic butter steak, roasted red potatoes and onion rings
  • Hiked the hills behind our house with my mom a lot. One rainy day, we saw a desert tortoise! It was awesome, even though little Zo wanted to play with it
  • Blogged more this month than any other in 2016
door
G “Wreath”

 

May

  • Started doing watercolors of the Temples. First was the St. George.  I am a little too much of a perfectionist so it took me over a month to do.
  • Planned my best friends birthday party. This was a first, but super fun. Designed the invite, planned the food and made a cake and cupcakes from scratch!

June

  • Watched Zoey while my family went on a cruise.

zoey-river

 

  • Attempted to find the Summit Rock… Clearly not very good at deciphering clues.
  • Dad bought a boat, so we were out on the lake all the time! Better than the camper, I guess 😉
  • Went to the Strawberry Days Rodeo.  Bulls, Mutton Ridin’, Motorcross, and my personal favorite: Strawberries and Cream.  Can I have some now?!

stawberries-cream

  • Nate’s buddies attempted making us all chicken wings. I don’t think the recipe we chose was the best, but it was fun watching these guys work hard for food 🙂 BDubs next time, k?
boys-makin-food
There they are… making us some wings 🙂
  • Went to Vegas for Convention

July

  • Spent time at the Grand Canyon National Park (North Rim) and at Jacobs Lake.  This is such a beautiful place. Love it

grand-canyon

  • The Fourth was spent with friends. We barbecued, played lawn games, and found the perfect seats for the fireworks right outside of the temple
  • This month was full of goodbye’s as we said farewell to Nate’s high school buddies who were going off to Dental school in Arizona and Oregon.
curry
Farewell dinner at the Bombay House, Provo
  • I tried my hand at finishing furniture.  Not to toot my own horn, but all my pieces turned out pretty great 😉
  • Cut about 9 inches off of my hair!

August

  • This was a fun month. We got to send off my cousin on his mission. He will be an AMAZING missionary in the south.
  • We packed up our rental and deep cleaned so the homeowners would come home to a welcoming place. Then…
moving-day
Packed and ready to move
  • WE BOUGHT A HOUSE. What a way to celebrate our first anniversary.  We purchased this cute little 1100 square foot house that is a blank slate, so I have plenty of room to make changes 😉  This is truly a dream come true.
  • This is also the time that I finally realized my dream to be an interior designer.  As Nate and I were house hunting, I was designing every house we went to in my head.  Our home was no exception. The more and more I thought about what I could do, the more and more excited I got. I realized deep down this was something that I would love.  So starts my exciting career.

September

  • Hurricane’s Peach Days! Best peaches we’ve ever had
  • BYU vs. Utah game. Rivalry at it’s finest, and the time of year I feel like the biggest outcast… Ute surrounded by BYU fans= Trouble

byu-v-u

  • Getaway to Arizona! Spent 3 days with Nate’s favorite mission companion’s family.
  • Got to watch my brother “compete” for Homecoming King.
  • Cha Cha’d through the middle of a high school orchestra class and delivered a Taco Bouquet. (yes- a bouquet of tacos)
  • BYU game! I’ll watch football all day if it’s in person. Thank goodness this one was!

byu-game

October

  •  Taped up my body for a ghost mold 🙂
  • Cheered Matt on at the Region and State Cross Country Meets. No worries, they took first in both, thanks to Matt’s incredible runs both days.
matt-power-stance
Power Stance!

matts-winning-team

  • Spent a few extra days with Mom up north to spend with families. If you live in Salt Lake, go to Mountain City for the best Chinese food ever.
mountain-city
Come and try this place. You wont be dissapointed

 

  • We had our Annual Halloween Chili Party as well. We had the best turnout to date for this awesome dinner party we had!  Thank you, again, to all of you that came!

halloween-party

November

  • Full of travel. (But so was September and October) We went up North every other weekend to attend a class for work.  As much as I love going to see family, I don’t like that we have to travel so much to do so… 😦
  • We got to spend Thanksgiving at home this year, which Nate LOVED!  If he can help it, we will probably host Thanksgiving a lot in the future.

December

  • Even more traveling. We went up north EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND.  The first weekend was with my parents for our family Christmas Party up in Huntsville, UT (aka Frigid north pole) and got to spend time watching Matt’s Chamber Choir sing all over downtown.
  • We got to go celebrate the wedding of my best friend from Elementary and Jr. High.  It was amazing seeing all of my friends from the #1 Ward in the World 🙂  It was so much fun reminiscing of the fun times I had with all of those people. I’ve never had a better or closer ward family than back then.  Miss you ALL so so much
  • Christmastime! What a great one, too. I went up a few days early with my family to spend it with my grandparents and aunt’s family.  Then we finished up the weekend with Nate’s family.  We were so blessed this year.  Being with family was the best gift of all. It was also nice to have Christmas on a Sunday.  It brought the reason of the season to the forefront of all our minds. How grateful I am for the birth of our Savior, so long ago.
december-shooting
Day after Christmas Shooting
  • To finish out the year, we helped my parents tile their living room, master bedroom and closet. I have to say, I actually like laying tile 🙂 Painful and painstaking, but it is satisfactory to look at the finished product and realize you actually did that. You created it!

 

So now that I’ve lost 99% of the people who may have read this, (which to be honest, this was more for me than anyone else). It’s time to look forward. Nate and I like to make goals in 5 different categories: Faith, Family, Finance, Fitness and Fun.  I’d like to share with you some of my goals so I am actually accountable 🙂

Faith

  • Put more into my callings: give them each my ALL
  • Go to the temple at least 1x/month
  • Read scriptures daily

Family

  • Have weekly family home evening
  • Have family prayer daily
  • Write my personal history

Finance

  • Save enough money to be able to make improvements on home
  • Have 3 months savings put away
  • Start Interior design school (March) finish by July
  • Design house in Sketchup

Fitness

  • Lose my butt/leg fat
  • Workout at least 3x/week
  • Forget the treats- rewarded on Saturdays 😉

Fun

  • Have Quarterly “retreats” with my hubby
  • Go on 1 bigger trip this year
  • Have monthly dinner parties
  • Have monthly girls nights
  • Live with no regrets

So there you go.  I know everyone (haha) wanted to see my life and see my goals for this next year. This is for you Nate. Hold me accountable, don’t let me slack off.

xoxo- Madi