This Week's Meal Plan {March 22 - 28}

3.23.2015


Sunday

Dinner:
40 Clove Garlic Chicken with Creamed Spinach and Mashed Potatoes {Notions and Notations of a Novice Cook}

Monday

Lunch:
Mini Corn Dog Muffins {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe, but these are similar from Iowa Girl Eats}
Mango
Berries

Dinner:
Baked White Cheddar Mac n Cheese with Kale and Bacon {Good Life Eats}
Green Salad

Tuesday

Lunch:
Berry Cheesecake Crepe {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe}
Yogurt
Apples

Dinner:
Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic {Smitten Kitchen} - I don't make recipes twice very often, but I think this may be the fourth or fifth time for this one. It's soooo good.
Baguette

Wednesday

Lunch:
Hot Lunch

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Lunch:
Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs {Momables} - I throw a sandwich in there, too, with the usual sides.
Carrots
Sandwich

Dinner:
Sauteed Chicken with Garlic-Cream Sauce {Keepers Cookbook}
Roasted Asparagus {Food Network}

Friday

Lunch:
Mango Coconut Sushi {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe}
Yogurt
Berries

Dinner:
Eggplant Parmesan {Table for Two}
Spaghetti
Garlic Bread

Saturday

Dinner:
Eat Out!

Star of Last Week


Well, I didn't post a menu last week, so I am going to preemptively name the dish from this Sunday as the Star! This was easy peasy from start to finish and if you are garlic fan, you will adore it. You mash up the roasted garlic with butter to make a sause, people. It was also a leap of faith because I don't really understand what Tumblr is, but I found this recipe on Pinterest and just couldn't pass it up. It was worth the risk!

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

What I've Been Reading {Quick Lit March 2015}

3.17.2015


Here's what I've been reading over the last month. It was a mixed bag as far as what I loved and what I hated. I guess that means I'm reading enough books - I would assume I wasn't reading enough if I loved them all..... I'm five books ahead of schedule, with 20 books read of my 75 book goal for the year.


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I think this is the third time I have read this classic and it only gets better each time. I named my daughter Darcy, so that should tell you something about how I feel about this book. If you have not read it, stop reading this blog and go pick it up!






Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - This book has been popping up on lists as a "must read" for Fantasy fans. I was completely sucked it, but it took awhile, maybe 100 pages, for me to be really engaged. This has EPIC written all over it. And what fun to learn all about a new fantasy world. I've got the second one just waiting to be cracked open.





Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry - This second installment of the Giver series was not as mind blowing as the first, but certainly had its charms. While the society of The Giver is ultra technological, the society of Gathering Blue is on the other end of the spectrum. The rich details of this story were intriguing, but I didn't feel particularly connected to the characters.





Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick - I had no idea what this book was about - I only know that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence were in a hit movie based on it. But oh my, I absolutely loved it. Great story, unique perspectives, and story that was emotionally raw at points. I highly recommend this one.





Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins - I love a good series, especially a YA one. This is the second book of the Hex Hall series and I appreciated the character development and the progress of the story in this one.







The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - Here's another book I knew nothing about other than the fact that the title was funny. Written in an epistolary style and set in the period shortly following World War II, this book takes a look at the occupation of a small island in the English Channel. I just loved this story and it made me want to (a) find out all about Guernsey and (b) find more books written about the period immediately after the war and discussing how people picked up the pieces.

The Martian by Andy Weir - Sci Fi fans, this is a must read, but only if you don't mind a whole bunch of facts and figures. I found that they added to, rather than detracted from, the story, but I can see how some might be annoyed. Check out my in depth review of this novel here.





The Elite by Keira Cass - I loved the Bachelor/Dystopian mashup that was The Selection, but the second installment in this series, The Elite, wasn't quite as enthralling as the first installment. It was definitely still a fun read and I'll be reading the final installment The One, when I can get my hands on it!





The Messenger by Lois Lowry - Okay, now I'm sensing a theme for this month's reading. I am in the middle of a whole bunch of series! This is the third book in the The Giver quartet. I liked this one better than the second book and loved the magical aspects that seemed to be missing from the second book.




Check out more of what people are reading over at Modern Mrs. Darcy!

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

The Martian, by Andy Weir {Book Review}

3.12.2015


I won't be ruining the story if I tell you the basic premise - The Martian, by Andy Weir, is about an astronaut stranded on Mars after his crew thinks he died and leaves him behind on the planet, by himself. This story is full of science of all forms, but more importantly, it is full of the human spirit and humor. (It's only $5.99 for Kindle right now, too!)

A few of my favorite lines from this book as an example of what I mean:

  • "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped."
  • "Call it 100 because ninety-five cries out to be approximated."
  • "I started with a large rigid sample container (or "plastic box" to people who don't work at NASA)."

You have to love a book that is what it is, without trying to please everyone. That was exactly how I felt about The Martian. Not everyone wants to read the intricate details of how an oxygenator works, but that does not deter Weir and, in fact, enhances the story. You can really understand the level of expertise and creativity that the stranded astronaut must use in his struggle to survive.

If that doesn't convince you, the back story will. Weir wrote this book and self-published it as an e-book on his own website, where he gave it away for free. After getting requests for a Kindle version, Weir began selling it on Amazon, where sales took off. Next came a publishing deal and a deal for the movie rights. This guy is living the dream for a self-published author and after reading this book, I think it is well deserved.

{I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

Stitch Fix #7 Review {March 2015}

3.11.2015



Oh, Stitch Fix, how I missed you. Getting new clothes dropped in the budget priority for awhile there, but with a big event coming up, I needed some new threads. I let my stylist know I was attending an auction and would love a cute dress to wear that could also be worn to work. She sent two! It was hard to choose between them.

If you're new to Stitch Fix, here are the essentials. You fill out a detailed profile on the Stitch Fix website, then schedule the date of your fix and pay $20. Stitch Fix sends you five items of clothing and accessories. You keep what you like and send back what you don't within 3 days, in a provided envelope. If you purchase nothing, you lose the $20 styling fee. If you purchase anything, the $20 styling fee is credited toward that purchase. If you keep everything, you get 20 percent off the whole order.

In exciting news, Stitch Fix has released a coupon for the first time since I've been paying attention.

Here's what I received:

Each Fix includes an info card listing each item your stylist sent, a quick discussion of why they sent it, and some styling ideas

Kensie - Conrad Speckled Chevron Dress
$88 to keep
A closeup of the speckled pattern - pretty cool! The shoulder pieces are faux leather.

41Hawthorn (Stitch Fix's In House Brand) - Teresa Colorblocked Sleeveless Blouse
$48 to keep 
Lily - Imelda Geo Diamond Print Wrap Dress
$68 to keep

Fun2Fun - Aurora Tab Sleeve Blouse
$44 to keep

Market & Spruce - Kristah Ruffle Knit Blazer
$78 to keep
So can you guess what I kept? I only needed one dress, so went with the chevron because (a) I am obsessed with chevron and (b) it would be more practical for the auction, where I will be running around as a volunteer. I don't want to have to worry about the wrap dress being a bit too open while I'm helping out!

I also kept the colorblock top. It is so perfect for wearing under a blazer for work or with jeans when it's warm out. The zipper back is very cute, too.

The blue button up shirt was so perfect, except the sleeves were about 2 inches two short, so back it went. And the purple blazer was well made, soft, and cute, but I don't own anything purple and I'm trying to make a closet full of clothes that coordinate. Plus, I just don't really like purple!

So, there you have it! I kept two out of five items, but I will love them. Let me know if you have any questions about how Stitch Fix works. My best advice is to be brutally honest in your profile - pick your actual style, not the style you wish you had.

If you want to check out my previous Stitch Fix reviews, find them here:

Stitch Fix #6
Stitch Fix #5
Stitch Fix #4
Stitch Fix #3
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #1


{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {March 1 - March 7}

3.02.2015



I am relying on the wonders of the internet, and more specifically, my Amazon Prime membership, to make one the recipes happen this week. My discount grocery store (the lovely Winco) does not carry White Miso. Shocking, I know. But I ordered this one on Saturday and it will arrive on Monday! How about that?

Sunday

Dinner:
Man-Pleasing Chicken {Witty in the City} - This recipe took Pinterest by storm awhile ago and all the hype was well deserved. It is yummy!
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes {The Pioneer Woman}
Roasted Carrots {Trisha Yearwood via Food Network Magazine}

Monday

Lunch:
Cream Cheese Mini Bagelwich {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe, but it's just a bagel with cream cheese!}
Berries
Carrots

Dinner:
Chicken and Corn Chowder {Plain Chicken}
Made with Cream of Chicken Soup Substitute {Buns in My Oven} (although I did buy a can of cream of potato)
Saltine Crackers

Tuesday

Lunch:
Grilled Pear Quesadillas {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe}
Apples
Yogurt

Dinner:
Penna and Sausages Casserole {Taste of Home magazine} This recipe makes two pans of casserole, one for tonight and one for the freezer.
Green Salad

Wednesday

Lunch:
Hot Lunch

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Lunch:
Easy Pita Pizzas {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe}
Grapes
Berries

Dinner:
Baked Honey Garlic Chicken {Damn Delicious}
Miso-Glazed Turnips {Bon Appetit}

Friday

Lunch:
Crunch Deli Wraps {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe}
Carrots
Apples

Dinner:
Eggplant Rollatini {Bon Appetit} This is a standard for us on Fridays during Lent! You won't miss the meat one bit with this recipe.
Green Salad
Garlic Bread

Saturday

Dinner:
Eat Out!

Star of Last Week



Unlike last Friday, this Friday I remembered to make something meat free. It was very simple Cheese Flautas from Rachael Ray's magazine, along with my favorite recipe for Mexican Rice, and my go-to recipe for Roasted Broccoli (EVOO, Salt and Pepper, roasted at 350 for 15-20 minutes).

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

This Week's Meal Plan {February 15 - 21}

2.16.2015



I'm baaaacccckkkk! It felt so good to make a meal plan and go grocery shopping - basically, getting back to my old routine. You never realize how comforting that can be until you miss it for weeks. Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday

Dinner:
30 Minute Bang Bang Chicken {Lauren's Latest} - I've never had Bang Bang Chicken at The Cheesecake Factory, but this recipe sounds great!

Monday

Lunch:
No School

Dinner:
Spicy Sausage Stromboli {Cook's Country}
Green Salad

Tuesday

Lunch:
Apple Pie Bites {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe, but this one is similar}
Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwich {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe, it's just, well, grilled turkey and cheese}
Mandarin Oranges

Dinner:
Chicken Shepherd's Pie {Cook's Country magazine}

Wednesday

Lunch:
Hot Lunch

Dinner:
Leftovers

Thursday

Lunch:
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe, but these are similar}
Grapes
Crackers

Dinner:
Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara {America's Test Kitchen}
Green Salad
Garlic Bread

Friday

Lunch:
Pigs in a Blanket {Momables Member Exclusive Recipe}
Apples
Berries

Dinner:
Spicky, Garlicky Cashew Chicken {New York Times}
Baked Beans with Bacon and Red Onions {Rachael Ray}
Roasted Carrots

Saturday

Dinner:
Eat Out!

Star of Last Week

If I were a real blogger, this would be a much better picture, 
but I'm not. I'm someone who takes pictures of her dinner!

If you are a Pinterest user, you have to have seen 4 million versions of Zuppa Toscana come across the screen. I've never had it at the Olive Garden, but I had to give it a try anyways! It was pretty darn good and great way to use up some kale. The recipe I tried was from Damn Delicious.

Here's the site I use for meal planning and creating grocery lists:

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

 I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday!











{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}

What I've Been Reading {Quick Lit February 2015}

2.15.2015


I'm still working through the last of my Quarterly books, but then I detoured into some light fiction because my day job got crazy. This resulted in a quite a range for this month's selections:

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique - Don't even think about skipping any sentences in this book. You could miss an essential plot point that is never repeated again if you fail to read just one sentence! These little grenades are sprinkled throughout, which would give me a little shock out of nowhere. While this was a beautifully written novel, there were parts of it that were just so (for lack of a better word) yucky. Intermingled with the yucky parts were mystical parts that were intriguing, but they were not enough to overwhelm the yucky stuff. As a result, I can't recommend this one. (I got this from my now defunct Quarterly Riot Read subscription, but there's still a Book Riot box and a new YA box on its way!)

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins - A nice, fun, light read in the YA Fantasy genre. I was pleasantly surprised by this book, which I mostly chose because it was immediately available to listen to via audiobook through the library. I liked it enough to pick up the next two in the series, if that tells you anything.

The Carrie Diaries and Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell - I am not the hugest fan of Sex and the City, but I did watch and enjoy it. This series follows Carrie Bradshaw from college in a small town to New York City and starts introducing some of our favorite characters from the series. This was another fun read in the midst of a crazy time at work. While some parts of the plot were a little silly, I still enjoyed both and will read the third when it arrives.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - I have a friend who put it well when she said that Patchett is a wonderful writer, but not a wonderful storyteller. Bel Canto gave me the same feeling. I got to the end and said, "Wait. What?" But the writing is gorgeous and I was swept along the whole time (until the jarring end).
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy's discussion of this book a few weeks ago made me a little nervous about reading it, but I was intrigued by the cover! Usually not enough to make me read a book on its own, but I am participating in The 2015 Reading Challenge, so this one helped me meet one of the categories: a book you chose because of the cover. I didn't like it, but for different reasons than those listed by Anne. It was just a little too dark for me at a time when I needed something light. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read it at another time?

The Selection by Keira Cass - Calling all fans of The Bachelor! Mix the premise of The Bachelor with a dystopian future United States and you have The Selection. I was so mad the next book was not immediately available from the library! This could have fit the challenge category for a great cover, too. (As an aside, this book was the subject of a bit of drama on Goodreads - just read to the end of that review for the beef.)

Check out more of what people are reading over at Modern Mrs. Darcy!

{This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! Please see my disclosure policy here.}