Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My year in books - 2015

It's part of my end of the year blog posts to write about the books that I read this year. Here's the 2014 and 2013 recaps if you are interested! At the beginning of the year I set a goal for the number of books that I'm going to read for the year. I set my goal for 35 this year, but only managed 29. I'm counting that 29 with pride though. I went weeks at a time without reading a book this year so I'm pretty impressed with completing 29 books. I track everything through Goodreads and couldn't recommend it more! So let's take a look at all these books ...

In no particular order here are my 5 favorites from the year:
  1. Better Than Before - Gretchen's books are some of my favorites and this one certainly didn't disappoint. I would make sure you've read her other books before reading this one. It will make more sense.
  2. The Rosie Project - I saw a lot of people reading this one and it didn't disappoint. The follow up is eually as good.
  3. The Fault in Our Stars - I'm probably the last person to read this, I haven't even watched the movie. But it was a winner and made me cry.
  4. Eat to Live - Dr. Joel's view on food is eye opening. The way he recommends eating makes a lot of sense. I'll be putting some of his suggestions in place in 2016.
  5. The Likeness - This is the second book that follows up to In The Woods. The first one had me hooked, but the second one has me waiting to read the third!

I also made a few bad choices this year, lots of really dumb chick lit that I read really fast but then couldn't remember what had even happened a week later.
  1. Killing Monica - I expected more from Candace Bushnell.
  2. Three Wishes - Another author that I normally love, but this title fell flat. Sorry, Liane Moriarty.
  3. Sex on Tuesdays - I was desperate for something to read, I wish I had picked something else.
  4. Torch - Apparently my idea of reading authors I know was a bad decision this year. Cheryl Strayed must have learned better story telling skills by the time she wrote Wild.
So if I'm going to continue going strong with my goal of 30 books for 2016 I need suggestions!! What should I read? Any favorites I'm missing out on? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Meal Plan Week #52

Oh hey it's Tuesday and I'm just getting around to posting the meal plan for this week. We returned from our vacation in NC on Saturday night. Hosted Christmas for the husband's side of the family on Sunday. And then I proceeded to get a HUGE sinus infection on Sunday afternoon which had me in bed by 6:15pm. The weather was uncooperative on Monday with freezing rain and gusty winds so a trip to the grocery store was out of the question. That brings us to today, Tuesday. Where I will finally be making a trip to the grocery store. Which means we can finally eat some food in our house!

MONDAY: Ravioli
I bought 2 different kinds a couple of weeks ago when we had ravioli, so there was enough left over to have it again. Yeah for frozen pasta!

Because duh, it's Taco Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY: Breakfast
I'm aiming for easy this week so breakfast for dinner is a sure winner!

THURSDAY: Quesadillas
This is a special request from the kids who apparently didn't eat enough Mexican food while we were gone last week. 

FRIDAY: Homemade Pizza
Everything will be closed, so I'll have all day to make the dough from scratch and let everyone help out with the toppings. 

So that's it folks! 52 weeks of meal planning. I successfully meal planned every week of the entire year. I wish I set that as a goal for the year! Meal planning without a doubt will continue for next year. And I'll be trying my best to include 1 meat free meal each week. I received the Thug Kitchen cookbook for Christmas so we will be trying out some new meals!

A photo posted by Allison (@amazingmommy) on

Monday, December 21, 2015

Meal Plan Week #51

We are visiting North Carolina this week so our meal plan is whatever my Dad decides to feed us :) But I didn't want to leave you hanging so here's a few ideas for you to try out this week!

Baked Stuffed Tacos are always a winner at our house!

Crock Pot Lasagna is super easy compared to the traditional oven version. And you can sneak in a bunch of veggies without your kids (or husband!) knowing.

I'm a sucker for anything mini-sized, like these Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes!

Don't forget dessert! These cupcakes are perfect for the holidays ... Caramel Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

From our family to yours ... Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Meal Plan Week #50 + a few extras

Holy moly - it's almost Christmas! I feel like I am completely overwhelmed with everything going on. Holiday parties for work, for school, for our families. Every day is party! Well not quite, but it's beginning to feel that way. Saturday we hosted our 3rd Ugly Sweater Party and white elephant exchange with our friends and families. It was a good time had by all. 
Oh aren't we cute? And yes my nose had flashing lights. It was pretty awesome :) This Friday I'm in charge of the 3rd grade holiday party at school. I found some fun ideas on Pinterest - because duh where else would I come up with these genius ideas?! So I have been assembling goodie bags and making print outs and finding jokes that 3rd graders will think are hysterical. It will be a good time. 

Next week we are taking off to North Carolina to spend Christmas with my Dad & step mom. I'm not sure the last time we visited their house - well actually we haven't been to the house since they moved in almost 4 years ago. Whoops! So we figured it was time for a visit. That means packing not only clothes and entertainment for the trip but also all the Christmas presents. And somehow remembering to not forget the ones from Santa!

All of that craziness takes us into the meal plan for this week. It's not exciting, but it's one less thing I have to worry about each night.

MONDAY: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Special request from the kids for this week

TUESDAY: Fajitas
I can't remember the last time I made fajitas! Taco Tuesday is getting an upgrade this week :)

WEDNESDAY: Dinner on the Go
I hate to do this, but with all the craziness that is going on this week plus the last swim lesson of the session for J - I can't think ahead enough to find a crock pot recipe for dinner. So I'll pick up something on my way home.

Another special request from the kids this week

FRIDAY: YOYO / Clean Out The Fridge
Since we are headed out of town we'll clean out the fridge to get prepared.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Meal Plan Week #49

Wow I can't believe 2015 is almost over. My meal plans are all about simplicity this time of year as there is so much going on! Let's just get into it ...

MONDAY: Pancakes and Fruit
Special request from the kids to do breakfast for dinner.

TUESDAY: Taco in a Bag

WEDNESDAY: Chicken Tortilla Soup
This one has been on my list to make for awhile now, none of Peas & Crayons recipes ever disappoint so I'm sure this will be a winner.

THURSDAY: Sandwiches and Veggies

FRIDAY: Holiday Parties / Grandma's House
My husband and I both have our holiday work parties tonight so we'll have plenty to eat. The girls will be spending the evening with Grandma.

What's for dinner at your house this week? Any new recipes I should try?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Currently #7

loving. how excited my girls are for Christmas
smelling. my new Vanilla Bean Noel candle from Bath & Body Works
writing. well I'm not writing many blog posts these days :(
reading. Eat to Live - I am completely fascinated with all the food facts
watching. Bones on Netflix, we are flying through all 10 seasons that are available
craving. Diet Coke - this is terrible, I know. But I just can't seem to quit it for good.
obsessing. over our new couch! It's stylish and comfortable
wishing. someone could just send me an unlimited supply of dark chocolate and I couldn't gain an ounce by eating it all :)
needing. everyone to stay healthy this winter
wanting. to drive around and look at Christmas lights
trying. not to think about that it's freezing outside and that means snow is on the way
eating. meals out of my new crock pot - it's got a timer!
drinking. all the iced coffee, it's cold outside but I don't care.
feeling. excited for all the holiday parties I am planning over the next couple of weeks
hoping. our trip down to NC for Christmas goes smoothly - no fighting kids in the car!
clicking. through Pinterest for holiday ideas