Meal Prep w/ Printable Recipes and Grocery List!

I used to be really good at meal prep! Lately I haven’t really made it a priority though. We were doing those meal delivery services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, so I got lazy! I always plan our meals for the week and do one grocery shopping for the week (saves time and money), but I also like to plan weeks with similar ingredients so I can prep over the weekends. It takes some more planning, but it really makes our week nights so much easier! By the time Stew gets home from work, it’s 5.5:30 and Gracie starts melting down around 6:30. So we need to eat pretty much when he walks in the door! That means I need to get dinner made with two kids and a ringing phone (job hazard). Since I know I’m not the only one in this situation, I like to share my prep plans when I can! So this was our menu last week:

MENU:

**I’ve linked to recipes that can be downloaded and printed, as well as the grocery list for the week. I also wrote some notes below each day if there wasn’t a specific recipe to go along with it!

Saturday: Cook the pork in the slow cooker according to the recipe below so it’s ready to be used throughout the week.

Sunday: Braised Pork w/ roasted veggies (Recipe at bottom of post)

**Serve pork with roasted veggie of your choice. We used carrots tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast at 400*F for 15-20 minutes or until softened.

Monday: Cuban Pork Panini

**Danielle Walker’s Recipe can be found in her cookbook, but I linked to one similar above.

Tuesday: Vegetable Stir Fry

Wednesday: Roasted spaghetti squash with meat sauce

Thursday: Pork Ragu Spaghetti

**Heat 2 cups shredded pork in saucepan with jar of your favorite tomato sauce (this is my favorite pasta sauce EVER). Serve over cooked spaghetti.

Friday: Pepperoni Pizza Pasta w/ Vegetable Noodles

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Can you guess what my main ingredient was?? PORK! Now, I don’t usually make pork. But I am bored with chicken, so I wanted to use something else that was delicious and could be used in several different meals. As long as the meat is good quality, I am ok with it!

My inspiration for this menu was my new cookbook Against All Grain. I discovered this cookbook through a friend. They have some major food allergies in their family. And, because we get together on a regular basis and share a meal, it made sense that I should research some new ideas! As soon as I opened this cookbook, I was sold. There were so many things to love. The photos are gorgeous, the recipes are simple, and they can easily be modified for people without food allergies! So, I ordered it on Amazon and now read it on a daily basis! Plus, Danielle Walker’s story is so amazing. What a humble and beautiful woman she is! I digress….

So my order of steps for meal prep is to:

1. make a meal list

2. make a grocery list AS you plan the meals (I use Shopping List FREE app. It’s incredible)

**(THIS WEEK’S PRINTABLE GROCERY LIST HERE)

3. map out the things I’ll prep in advance (i.e. slow cooker pork).

 

Slow Cooker Braised Pork
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp butter or oil
  2. 5 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  3. salt and pepper
  4. 6 ounces pancetta, diced
  5. 1 large yellow onion, large dice
  6. 5 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1.5 cups chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. Brown pork on all sides in batches and place in slow cooker.
  4. In the same pan you browned the pork, saute the pancetta, onions, and garlic over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add in chicken stock to deglaze the pan, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. Pour mixture on top of pork.
  6. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  7. Skim any fat off the top.
  8. Shred and serve, or store in airtight container for later use.
Little Baby Watson http://littlebabywatson.com/

 

So now what? Write out the menu in your kitchen so you know what meal comes which day. Print out your grocery list and recipes. And breathe a sigh of relief that you have one week of delicious meals planned!

 

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Happy New Year!

This is my favorite post of the year! It’s a recap of our year in pictures! It’s been one of the best to date!

We dressed in our holiday best

We moved to a dreamy nest

We celebrated birthdays

And went on family vacays

And caught up on much needed rest!

It was a year to remember. One of growing, and learning, and loving more than we ever thought imaginable! A year of thanking God for our many blessings and praying for many more to come!

Thank you for letting us share our family with you! Wishing you a Happy New Year! May 2017 be filled with joy and blessings (and sparkly dresses)!

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Merry Christmas!

To say that this was our best Christmas yet is a huge understatement! We are blessed beyond measure and have enjoyed every last second of this holiday season! Decorating the house was an absolute joy! I loved sprinkling every inch with holiday cheer!



This Christmas was filled with festive garb, Christmas movies, nebulizer treatments and snuggles, hot chocolate-a-plenty, and reading about Baby Jesus! We packed as much into this Christmas month as we possibly could!

Christmas morning was perfect! I was up at 5:30 and went downstairs to put Monkey Bread in the oven before anyone was awake. I crept upstairs with coffee and Stew and I waited for the kids to wake up! Turner slept in later than he ever has (6:45)! I wanted to wake him up but since both kids were just getting over strep throat, I figured he needed his sleep.

FINALLY, he started yelling from his room, “I’M AWAAAAAKE”! So we went to get him and then headed downstairs to see if Santa came! And boy did he come! But before anyone could touch presents, we had to get our token family photo (insert post-traumatic flashbacks of my dad setting up spotlights for the perfect video which seemed to take hours)!

Turner had a blast opening gifts! Gracie didn’t really get it. She mostly got food and stuffed animals which kept her happy!

After a morning of playing, napping, and cooking, my family arrived for more presents, food and celebrating!

And of course, Christmas with my family wouldn’t be Christmas without our token Christmas carol singing and nearly fatal dance party!

Merry Christmas to you! I hope it was a great one!

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Christmas Cookie Baking

I can’t believe next week is Christmas! I feel like it was just Thanksgiving and we were just putting up our Christmas tree.

I have enjoyed this holiday season so much. The kids are at the best ages and they’re so excited about all things Christmas. One of our favorite traditions is baking Christmas cookies at my mom’s house with my grandma. We’ve been doing it forever, and each year is a new experience.

Watching the transformation of the kids when I look back on pictures is just incredible! I’ve gone from baking while holding Turner in a wrap at just a few weeks old, to Turner actually being a part of the process with Gracie snatching cookie dough when no one’s looking!

Turner loves to cook and bake with me. He’s no stranger to being in the kitchen. It’s one of our favorite things to do together! So doing it with my mom and grandma is even more exciting and special!

While Turner helped with cookies, Gracie did some work of her own.

Christmas really is so magical! While it’s fun to talk Santa and twinkling lights, the best part is spending quality time with this incredible family God has blessed us with and celebrating the reason for the season, Jesus’s birth! Merry (almost) Christmas!

 

 

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It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday! I love getting together with our family, eating good food, and being reminded of how blessed we all are! It also means that Christmas is around the corner, and it’s officially ok to decorate and listen to Christmas music (though I usually start that in October)!

One of the things that I was most excited about when moving into our new home was decorating for the holidays. So here is a sneak peak of some of our Christmas decor.

The kids seem just as excited as I am about the holidays. Turner has been steady watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for a week now (hence the red nose in the pic below). Today we will go get our Christmas tree and decorate while we rock out to some Christmas tunes. I can hardly wait!

But for now, I’ll leave you with some sugar from these cuties xoxo.

 

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So Very Thankful

Rarely do I have a day that goes smoothly, with no melt-downs, and where I can actually relax during nap time. But I recently had one of those days where all the stars aligned.

Gracie had her morning nap a little later than usual. So, I snuck in to get her so we could go to the grocery store and got a close up shot of this…

Then, on the way to Whole Foods, I noticed that Turner was awfully quiet. I turned around to find him sound asleep in the backseat, peanut butter and jelly in hand…

As we were walking into the store, a fellow mom and her kids walked out with the mac-daddy of shopping carts! She said they were finished and we could have it! Whole Foods for the win!

We got home, unloaded, ate lunch, and got ready for the kids’ afternoon naps. They were in their rooms when I thought I heard Turner. I cracked his door to tell him to go to sleep, and I saw him lying in his bed, singing, and reading his Bible. My heart absolutely melted. He didn’t know I was there, so I snapped a quick photo!

That was right around the time I made myself an eggnog latte (equal parts eggnog & milk mixed with my coffee) and soaked up some quiet time!

I’m glad I took pictures so I can forever remember these sweet moments! I am beyond thankful for my sweet hubby and babies that God has blessed me with!

Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving!

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Turner’s Birthday Party

In the past, I’ve had extravagant birthday parties for Turner! There was always a theme, decorations, balloons, food to go along with the theme, fancy food labels, paper invitations special ordered from Etsy, etc. This year, I was so busy that his birthday really crept up on me! I toyed with the idea of coming up with a theme, but I really was out of time! Stew and I were drinking coffee and trying to brainstorm what we could do with less than two weeks to plan. We thought of just ordering a jump castle and gambling with the weather! So, he pulled up a local company on his phone and placed the order. DONE! Easiest party plan ever!

Turner’s big party was Saturday. It turned out to be the most beautiful day! I set up a table outside with some sandwiches, veggies and dip, popcorn and pretzels, and cupcakes. The parents hung out and chatted while the kids when buck wild! It was like having a built-in babysitter!

The only time they all came out was for cupcakes, of course!

I took that opportunity to steal a hug from my big 4 year old, who was clearly not interested and too busy to stop apparently…

We even managed to get a post-party, super sweaty, family photo!

So, we pulled it off with minimal effort, and very little time to plan! I kinda like that way of living! Happy 4th to our sweet boy!

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Happy 4th Birthday to Turner!

Our sweet baby is 4! I can’t believe it. Time truly flies. Turner has a heart of gold. He is the sweetest, most loving boy in the world! Of course, he has his moments, like all toddlers. But they are balanced with such tender moments.  My memories are so vivid if him as a baby. I love to reminisce! Here’s a look back on the past 4 years.

I’ve loved this journey as a mom, and I’m so thankful that God has blessed us with Turner as our first baby! Looking back at these photos has been wonderful! Happy birthday to our sweet Turner! You are the best son to us and big brother to Gracie! We love you with all our hearts!

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Love Wins

The reaction in our country to this election is absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve thought long and hard about whether or not to write a post about it. I’m not about to share my political thoughts, because no one needs to know and I don’t believe in shoving my opinion down peoples’ throats. But what I DO feel called to do is remind everyone that we’re all on the same team here. It’s not me against you. Speaking down and placing blame is the exact hateful behavior that we’re condemning. So, in this moment, I want to love everyone. I want to have open conversations with people who have opposing viewpoints (and I’ve had some incredible ones in the past few days). I want to do nice things for people because it makes me feel good inside. So, whatever you believe in, we can all agree that we need more love in this world! So, go out there and do something nice for someone. Love someone who has a different view than you! I promise you’ll feel better inside. And isn’t THAT what we want to teach our kids? That love wins??

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Things I learned From My Broker Class

As you may or may not know, Stew and I own a vacation rental business. To make a long story short, in order to function, we need to have a “Broker In Charge”. Ours moved to CA and didn’t want to continue as our broker. So I had to go to a 2 week class to get my broker in charge license so our sweet little biz could keep running! While in my class, I learned a few things…

  1. I love our business! I love that we have personal relationships with all of our clients and guests. I love making it possible for guests to have the vacation of their dreams and to protect our clients’ investment properties!
  2. I LOVE working from home. I get the best of both worlds. I get the joy of watching my children grow up before my eyes and being a part of their day-to-day, yet preserving my identity as a professional. I talked to a lot of the other realtors in my class and we share this sentiment. I don’t take a single second for granted. I am blessed for sure!
  3. I have a new respect for parents who work out of the house. I was on the road by 7:30 am (sat in traffic) and home by 6pm (after sitting in traffic) and got to see my family for about an hour before sending them to bed. I know that’s the norm, and it is hard!
  4. I am so thankful for this crew of mine. I am blessed far more than I will ever deserve!

 

 

 

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