Happy 2018!

2018 Goals (Plus a Recap of 2017)

2018 Goals

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but by the time the new year rolls around, I’m ready for it. All of the glittery, pine-needle-y Christmas decor aside, the cream cheese in everything and the copious amounts of pork products that I consume every year between the month of November and December, by the time January 1 is here, I’m ready to start anew.

Goals

I’ve been thinking a lot about goals. Somehow, I spent the first 42 years of my life not really setting goals. This is not to say that I was a slacker, but it just never occurred to me to actively work toward something. I’ve been a bit of a “fly by the seat of my pants,” gal for as long as I can remember. Just this past year, I started setting goals. Some, admittedly so, were a touch too lofty so then I figured out how to set more realistic, attainable goals and that has carried me through the past year. In fact, every Sunday, I sit down and write out weekly goals for myself. These goals often look like this:

–Clean out one drawer

–Make doctor’s appointment

–sweep bathroom

–write 3 articles a day

 

By making my goals bite-sized, I’m able to get them done and they keep me on task.

So, with all of this goal-thinking that I’ve been doing, I decided to go back and revisit my 2017 goals that I posted here last year. Turns out? I accomplished most of them and am building upon those successes as I work on my 2018 goals.

In 2017 I dropped the ball on this blog completely, but it was for good reason. You see, late in 2016, I decided that I wanted to write more and then in May of 2017–low and behold–I took on a job that requires me to write a whole bunch. I’m currently a staff writer for a successful website and magazine and am managing advertising accounts for about half a dozen or so clients–writing sponsored pieces for them. It has been completely overwhelming and delightful and I’ve found my rhythm and I’m getting it done and it’s mine–all mine and I’m proud of my work–and, I’ve gotten to meet some cool people and do some interesting stuff. I even did a Grape Stomp at a winery. Who’d’ve thunk, that a non-drinker would end up doing something like this?

Grape Stomp

In 2018, I’m hopeful that I can pick up the ball on this blog and post here with more frequency. At the end of the day, I’m completely out of words to say but when I take the time to sit here and write, it comes so easy. This is such a casual way to write–different from my other writing–and it’s really effortless when I just take the time to do it. And, in 2018, I’m going to take the time to do it again.

Camp Gladiator

One of my personal goals for 2017 was to get into a workout schedule again. It took me awhile to find what I was looking for, but in September of 2017, I tried Camp Gladiator and fell hard for it. It’s the perfect fit for me. I use that one hour, several days a week to disconnect from the emails awaiting me, the grocery shopping that needs to be done and the chatter in my head and just focus on moving. I love it so much that I’m sending Kevin to “camp” for the month of January with me. I hope he loves it as much as I do.

I failed miserably on one of my family goals for 2017, which was to get my kids to eat better. They’re just horrible eaters and I’ve thrown wooden spoons and flounced off to my bedroom in tears more times than I can count in 2017 when they wouldn’t eat something that I was just sure would finally be the magical thing that they’d like and was healthy. I’m not going to lie: I don’t even think I’m going to make this a goal again in 2018, because I’m just setting myself up for failure (and a severe “Mommy Dearest” moment on the regular).

BUT! Another goal in 2017 was to find a church and we did! So, a goal for 2018 is for me to get more involved in our church. After almost a year of going regularly, I’ve managed to fly just under the radar for the most part (while, Kevin actually joined the band at church and is up to his eyeballs in church involvement right now) but this is the year that I’m joining a committee or two and reaching out a bit more to make connections.

Santa Fe

Another goal for 2017 was to go away with Kevin once a year and in November of 2017 we went to Santa Fe and had a delightful time. This was our first long road trip to take together in 20 years of being in a relationship. It was fun and refreshing to realize that I still really like this person.

I had some cleaning goals for 2017 that I did pretty decently on. This year, I established a few routines that really helped keep things in control around here. The main one that’s worked well for me is with laundry. On Mondays, I do Jack’s laundry–no matter how much or how little he has in his dirty clothes basket. On Tuesdays, it’s Anna’s laundry day. On Wednesdays, I strip all beds and wash the sheets and towels. Thursdays are for mine and Kevin’s clothes and Fridays are for whatever else needs to be washed (blankets from our couches, kitchen towels, etc). This method keeps it all very much on schedule and no one is complaining that they’ve run out of clean underwear.

In 2018 I do want to get my nutrition back in check. I’ve never felt better than when I cut out dairy and I feel like that’s in order again–especially after all of the aforementioned cream cheese consumption over the past month or so. So, cutting out dairy (exception: queso occasionally) is my main focus but also limiting sugar and just generally not treating my mouth like a rubbish bin.

One last goal for 2018 is to cultivate deeper relationships. I’ve met a few people in the past couple of years who are “my people.” I’m going to focus more on nurturing those friendships and seeking out similar ones. I’m thinking of instituting a regular coffee meet-up. Just putting it on the calendar one day a month with the premise that no one shall clean their homes or do anything special to prepare for this event. Hopefully I can pull this off.

It’s good to be back. I’m hopeful that 2018 will be a year that I spend more time sharing things here. I’d love to hear any ideas for topics that you’d be interested in reading as well.

Happy 2018!
Sparkling apple cider for all

 

0
Happy 2018!

Frugal Friday Favorites

…in which Jenny tells you about all of the stuff that everyone else on the internet has been raving about for months. You’re welcome. 

(Also, this post contains affiliate links, which help to support the care and upkeep of this blog. Thank you so much!) 

La Croix Peach-Pear:

I’d heard about the La Croix peach-pear sparkling water, but hadn’t tried it until this week. I saw it at my grocery store and, since my kids really like sparkling water and will sometimes choose a sparkling water over a soda when it’s time for a weekend treat, I thought we’d try this flavor. Oh my word. LOVE IT. It’s perfect on its own, or, you could be like me and add a splash of orange juice, for a sweet afternoon treat before heading to the bus stop. My kids are similarly obsessed with this flavor of La Croix. I’m going to go ahead and declare it to be The Official Spring Break Drink of The Jurica Family. Try it and I promise you’ll love it too (unless you don’t like peaches or pears or, you know, joy in your life).

Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush:

I saw Megan and Wendy talking about Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush body lotion in their February Favorites video this week. Needing some new lotion in my life, and being a sucker for cute packaging, I found myself with a bottle of this stuff shortly after viewing the video.

Soap And Glory Sugar Crush 3-in-1 Body Lotion 500ml–$12.00

Two things have me crushing (Ha! See what I did there? Sugar Crush?)  on this lotion: First of all, the formula is good. Real good. I don’t like a thin lotion that soaks into your skin immediately, leaving you feeling as dry as you were prior to lotion application. This lotion is just thick enough for my sensibilities but not so thick that it feels heavy and gross.

And, most importantly, the scent. Cheese and crackers, you guys! I can’t even describe how much I love the scent! I don’t typically like to smell like food, but the lime scent is perfect and it has a musky, vanilla undertone too–just enough to keep it from smelling straight-up like key lime pie. I used this lotion before bed the first night that I had it and then laid in bed and sniffed myself for probably an hour. I haven’t been this excited about a lotion in a long time! I think that the price is very reasonable for this lotion too. At $12 for 16 ounces, it feels like a much more expensive lotion. As a result, these items are next on my list to purchase:


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Moisture Extreme Body Buttercream 300ml


Soap And Glory Sugar Crush Fresh And Foamy Body Wash Sweet Lime Fragrance 500ml

 

And lastly, Blogilates:

Image: www.blogilates.com

 

I’ve been doing Blogilates for my morning workouts this week. Truth be told, I’ve gotten bored with my usual workout routine and needed to change it up. Blogilates has a zillion workouts, all with different target areas or workout styles. I’ve been enjoying the more Pilates-style workouts (holy ouch!) and then the other day, I did a 12 minute long stretching video, which was much-needed and really helpful.

Best of all, her videos are available on YouTube (link HERE) and are all FREE. I also really like that I can chose to do a quick workout or a longer one, based on how I’m feeling that particular day. Yes, Cassey is extremely perky and cute (perhaps a smidgen too perky and cute for 6:30am) and the music is a little too “pop” for my liking, but whatever. I love the versatility of the workouts. It’s just what I’ve needed to get me motivated after just “going through the motions” for the past month.

Hooray for Spring and new sparkling water flavors, workouts and lotion scents to obsess about! Tell me what you’re obsessing about these days!

2+
Happy 2018!

4 things that I’ve learned by NOT dining out

Right after the New Year, we decided to tighten up our budget and one of the first things to go was dining out. We vowed not to eat out for the entire month of January. It worked out so well for us, that we’ve just kept on going. As of today, we’ve eaten in a restaurant exactly once (as a family) since January 1 (and we were treated to that meal by my father and stepmother).

Here are a few things that I’ve noticed since we quit dining in restaurants.

1: Restaurant food can be pretty “Meh”:

…but the company is good

If you allow yourself to be honest, restaurant food just really isn’t that great all of the time. When I sat down and thought about it, I realized that 9 times out of 10, I walk out of a restaurant thinking, “Well, that was pretty good.” That’s not an acceptable reaction to just having paid anywhere from $50 to $100 for a meal for 4 people. Now that we’re not eating out as much, when we do eat out, we will choose only the restaurants that we know are a home-run for us–the ones that never disappoint.

2: Overeating is (mostly) a thing of the past:

Here’s what a typical weeknight dinner serving looks like at our home.

How many times have you walked out of a restaurant and felt almost sick because you’ve waaaaaay overeaten? We don’t overeat as badly when we eat at home. That one restaurant meal that we had in January was Mexican food. While Mexican food certainly isn’t known for being a “light lunch” this particular meal was super heavy. I ordered some gigantic burrito, smothered in cheese. The first few bites were delicious, but then, after a while, it began to feel like a chore to eat–which is CRAZY to look back on and think about. Why didn’t I just stop eating? When I eat at a restaurant, for reasons too many to name, I feel like I need to clean my plate if possible. Being a people pleaser by nature, maybe I dread the waiter looking at my half-eaten plate, asking, “was your meal ok, ma’am?” I also have a weird relationship with taking home leftovers from a restaurant. There are precious few meals from restaurants that actually reheat well at home the next day. Many times, my half-eaten restaurant meal sits in the fridge for a days, awaiting its ultimate demise in the trashcan. Such a waste.

3: “Making do” and getting creative in the kitchen:

“Making do” in the kitchen is how my now-famous homemade pizza recipe was born–our new Friday night tradition. Recipe HERE.

 

When eating out isn’t an option, we’re much more willing to figure out something for dinner. The best part is that I’ve finally come to terms with the idea that we don’t all even have to eat the same thing! If there’s a dab of leftovers, a can of soup and a few frozen chicken tenders in the freezer, we can eat “potluck” style–which actually makes everyone happy. We can also make a killer gourmet grilled cheese sandwich in a pinch. Not only does it feel good to be utilizing our groceries, but it also clears space in the fridge and pantry for the new grocery items that are on my list to be purchased during the next shopping visit.

4: Wearing jammies at the dinner table is a real possibility

Valentine’s day dinner at home, in our comfy clothes

When you’re eating at home, there’s no need to dress up. There were many times in the past that I gritted my teeth when it was time to go out to eat and I had to change out of my comfy “house clothes” and into something a bit more presentable. These days, since we’re eating every meal at home–I get to stay in my comfy jammies if I want. This probably makes me happiest of all.

The funniest thing to come from this whole ‘experiment” is that, while it was only supposed to last for the month of January, we’ve decided to make it our personal mission to see how far we can go with it. The children are even on-board with it. It’s changed the way that we think about the money that we spend dining out and it’s made us be more conscious of how much stuff costs. It’s been the ultimate “reset” for our family. I highly recommend trying a similar experiment out for yourselves!

Have you ever tried to reign in your dining out habits? Tell us how it worked out in the comments below. Or, do you have any tips and tricks for those who are currently trying it out? 

1+
Happy 2018!

Frugal Friday Favorites

So, I have 3 Frugal Friday Favorites for you this week. One is a game-changer recipe. One is a favorite bargain shopping haven and one is a favorite cleaning product.

(This post contains affiliate links which help to support this website. Thanks!)

First up is a homemade pizza crust:

Confession time:

I’m not a baker. A cook, yes, but baking scares the pants off of me. If I see a recipe that calls for dough or yeast, I’m immediately like, “Nope…too bad. That would’ve probably been delicious too.

 

image courtesy of: www.teaspoonofgoodness.com

Recipe HERE

So, imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade pizza dough recently and discovered that we had all of the ingredients (which, really is only 2 items) and decided to go for it. I had a store-bought pizza crust waiting in the pantry in case this was a huge fail, so I decided to give it a whirl.

It turns out? It is the easiest. You really and truly can not mess this pizza dough up (because, believe this…if anyone COULD it would be ME).

Since you only need flour and yeast (and water) to make it, it costs pennies to make and comes together quickly with little forethought or advanced planning. I’ve declared that every Friday will be homemade pizza night in our house. This week, I’m trying my hand at homemade pizza sauce. This recipe is a contender.

Next up:

My favorite place to bargain shop:

Image courtesy of www.nerdwallet.com

I’ve talked about TJ Maxx here before. It’s my go-to; my end-all; my soul-mate. If there’s ever anything that I need, I typically head to TJ Maxx first because, 9 times out of 10, they have it and it’s way better and way cuter and way cheaper than anywhere else.

Hear this: I don’t love Homegoods (TJ Maxx’s sister company) as much as TJ Maxx and here’s why–I love me some home furnishings, oh, hell yes, but sometimes I like to look at beauty products, shoes, clothes and purses too. Give me all of that under one roof and I’m a happy girl.

Now that we’re doing a pretty major “Budget Bootcamp,” I haven’t been to TJ Maxx in months. (I know, right?) But, I was running dangerously low on hand soap for the kitchen this week and TJ Maxx is the best place to buy hand soap, in case you didn’t know. So, I carefully proceeded to TJ Maxx with a very short list of my “needs” and a firm grip on my cash, lest I lose my damn mind in there.

Here’s what I came out with:

A makeup brush cleaner $5.99 |  hand soap $5.99 | Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap $4.99

 

I’m always amazed when people say that they’ve never shopped at a TJ Maxx. There’s something for everyone there. And their merchandise turns over constantly, so it’s the type of place where it pays to stop in often.

Last, a cleaning product that saved the day this week:

 


Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & Polish: 12 OZ

Where we live, we have hard water. Even with a whole-house water softener, we still get soap scum and hard water stains in the bathrooms and kitchen. We have a glass shower in our master bath and, due to a number of circumstances (a few of these “circumstances” perhaps being laziness and/or Real Housewives of Beverly Hills marathons on Bravo) I had let our shower get a bit out of control.

Here’s the thing with our shower: Our bathroom has poor ventilation. There are no windows in our bathroom (oh, how I love windows in bathrooms) and this makes it really tricky to climb into a glass shower stall and scrub the bejeezus out of it with lots of effective, albeit TOXIC AS SHIT chemicals. I’ve made myself dizzy and sick a few times attempting this maneuver.

So, lately, I’ve taken to half-heartedly squirting a vinegar solution on the water stains every couple of weeks or so and also largely ignoring them. Spoiler alert: this is a wholly ineffective method for glass shower cleaning. #themoreyouknow

Today, I got a wild hair and decided to tackle our gross shower once and for all. I started digging for long-forgotten cleaning products from under the kitchen sink and found a can of Bar Keeper’s Friend that I don’t even remember purchasing. I decided to give it a go in our shower.

First of all, this stuff is non-toxic, so I was able to sit, closed up in my shower, for an hour, scrubbing away at the tile AND the glass with Bar Keeper’s Friend, with nary a hallucination nor an asthma attack. It also didn’t leave my hands red and raw like other cleaners do.

Secondly, holy moly, this stuff worked! It got rid of the hard water spots, the mold and mildew and soap scum too. Sure, I scrubbed it hard–so it wasn’t without effort, but it worked so well and I didn’t have to worry about breathing in chemicals. I can’t wait to try Bar Keeper’s Friend in other parts of the house.

Please share your own Frugal Friday Favorites below or chime in on the ones that I discussed today…any tips for using Bar Keeper’s Friend that I need to know about?

3+
Happy 2018!

Life lately

The past few weeks have been a bit of a fuzzy blur around here. I thought I’d use today’s post to catch you up on all of our happenings.

The Lion King:

A couple of weeks ago, Anna participated in a production of The Lion King. They began rehearsals in September, so it was a big commitment for the whole family, shuttling her to and from rehearsals for 4 months.

She had a small role, but she was happy not to have to a speaking role and she was really happy to get to be a BLUE bird (blue is her favorite color). I also got to hone my stage-makeup skills, which was pretty fun, once I got the hang of working with stage makeup.

After it was all said and done, she had a ball. She really enjoyed the performances, even though she was exhausted after doing 3 performances in 2 days time (we all were).

Then, after a weekend of Lion King madness, we were really looking forward to a quiet weekend with no obligations this past weekend. We got exactly that.

Return to the Library:

On Saturday, we made a family trip to the public library to renew my library card, get everyone else their own card and get our Kindles connected to the library’s online lending software.

About every 2 years or so, I re-discovered the library. I get super excited at the prospect of reading all of the books I could possibly ever want to read–not to mention movies, magazines and even a calendar of events to attend! Then, after a few months of active library use, I get disenchanted with something (likely a random late fee or stressing about a lost book) and then I go off of the library again. But, with our newfound “Budget Bootcamp” mode and with one child who’s a voracious reader–who’s single-handedly busting our Amazon Prime budget up with her constant need for a new book to read because she’s read everything over the course of a weekend–we found ourselves back at the library.

Luckily, we all walked out with books that we were excited about. I checked out several, but immediately got sucked into A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand.

I thought I’d read all of Hilderbrand’s books, so I was excited to find one that I hadn’t read. As with all of her books, I picked it up and have been looking forward to my bedtime reading every night since. (The links above are affiliate links)

Another exciting library happening: (if you follow me on Instagram you saw this already)

This roadrunner was outside of the library, pecking at himself in the windows. Being the certified “bird nerd” that I am, I got way more excited than I probably should’ve and giggled and squealed and snapped pics. Ugh. Bless my heart.

Then Sunday.

We went to church (more on this in an upcoming post) then came home to begin preparing Superbowl snacks. We made a rule for Superbowl this year that we’d eat what we already had in the freezer, fridge and pantry. We had cream cheese, sausage and crescent rolls, lunch meat and cheese so I made the following goodies:

Cubano sandwiches: image courtesy of Pillsbury

Recipe HERE

These were yummy and used up 2 cans of crescent rolls and a lot of the turkey and ham that I’d purchased for Anna’s post-Lion King party that we hosted. Everyone in the house enjoyed these (which is a rarity).

We also made this:

Image courtesy of: www.plainchicken.com

Recipe HERE

I went to lunch with friends last week and had deviled eggs with bacon jam on top. Oh. My. Word. So, I had a hankerin’ for more of those and figured that we could replicate them at home. So, we attempted this recipe for Bacon Jam.

Image courtesy of www.allrecipes.com

It’s with a broken heart that I have to report to you that this was a colossal fail. I’m not going to blame the cook (who was Kevin) but something went terribly, terribly wrong and we ended up with a charred blob of black goop. There were some tears shed, but my deviled eggs went on, albeit without bacon jam.

After spending lunchtime in the kitchen cooking our snacks, we settled in to watch the Kitten Bowl and then the big game.

Captain Thunderpants settling in to watch The Kitten Bowl

 

So, that’s what my life has looked like lately. What’s going on in your world?

1+
Happy 2018!

5 EASY things to do RIGHT NOW to get your budget on track

 

I alluded to this topic in a post (link HERE) a couple of weeks ago, but as soon as the last of the Christmas fudge was eaten, the tree and stockings were taken down and stored in the attic, my husband and I sat down and had a “come to Jesus” budget meeting.

Budget meetings are not my favorite thing in the world, in case you were wondering. For many years, early in our marriage, we didn’t talk about our finances. Like, at all. You wanna know how well that worked for us? Not well at all. (And that’s all I have to say about that.)

Then, 9 years ago, we read the infamous Dave Ramsey book and finally sat down and talked about our financial situation. It was then that we decided to change our ways. Not even a year later, we were in a totally different financial situation. We were kind of thriving.

We’ve continued to thrive (and by “thrive” I mean not living beyond our means, while still being able to afford to do fun things and have sort of nice stuff too) financially over the years but in the past year, we’ve let it slip here and there ever-so-slightly. Little things have started to added up recently. I quit my small, part-time job; we bought a car; etc. So, we sat down a few weeks ago and assessed our situation and decided to get things back in control quickly before we spun out of control again.

Continue reading “5 EASY things to do RIGHT NOW to get your budget on track”

1+
Happy 2018!

Frugal Friday Favorites

Since we’ve tightened up our budget and, based on the responses that I got from my last Frugal Friday Favorites post (link HERE), a lot of you are in budget-mode too, I’m continuing on with free or inexpensive favorites this week. I’d love to hear yours too!

First up is my homemade facial cleanser. It contains 2 ingredients…yes, 2. And costs very little to make. Also, I love the way it makes my skin feel. Winning!

Ingredients:

Castor Oil

Coconut Oil

Depending on your skin, you might start with equal parts castor oil and coconut oil (this is what I do for my normal skin). If you have oily skin, you’ll want to do 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts castor oil. For dry skin, do 3 parts coconut oil to 1 part castor oil.

Here’s how I use it: I keep my jar of the oil cleanser next to my sink in the bathroom. I take a fingerful of the goop and smear it on my face. Then I brush my teeth, letting the oil sit on my face. After that, I get in the shower and use a how, wet washcloth to gently begin wiping the cleanser off. Along with it, the dirt and makeup comes off as well.

With all of this oil, you’d think that you’d get out of the shower feeling like a greasy-ball, huh? Amazingly enough, no. My skin always feels plump and hydrated (like after a facial) but not at all greasy. In fact, I’m typically ready to put my various night serums, lotions and potions on shortly thereafter.

Next up is a recipe that I made this week that cost me nothing to make! We had all of the ingredients on hand–and the family devoured it.

 

It also fed us for two dinners and was great for reheating for hurried before-after-school-activities-meals. Link HERE

Image courtesy of: http://www.5dollardinners.com/cheeseburger-skillet/

 

Finally, a workout program that costs only $2 a month:

Image courtesy of www.mommastrong.com

 

I’ve talked about Momma Strong before. It’s an online workout (geared towards women–moms specifically–but there’s also now a Papa Strong workout for the menfolk) that is only $2 a month. I’ve been doing the Daily 15 workouts for many months, but fell off the wagon over the Holidays (and, for only $2 a month, I didn’t feel too bad about jumping ship). At the beginning of this month, I was really ready to get back to the program. I started The Hook–a 28 day strength challenge earlier this month. It’s also a 15 minute a day workout. This, coupled with my daily dog hike, has gotten me back on track.

It’s also good to sign up for and honor a commitment. Another integral part of the whole Momma Strong community is an active Facebook group, where you can ask questions and get accountability buddies. It’s an incredible group of people who are supportive and at all different levels of health and fitness. Again…all of this is included in the $2 a month fee.

What are your current Frugal Friday Favorites? 

Continue reading “Frugal Friday Favorites”

0
Happy 2018!

2017 goals

I’m an action-oriented, list-making type of person, so I enjoy the beginning of a new year and all of the promise and potential that it holds. I’ve never really been a resolution-maker but lately, I’ve grown accustomed to setting some goals and intentions for myself at the beginning of the year. 

This year, I have some goals and I thought I’d share them here, in the hopes that they’ll inspire you and also hold me accountable.

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2017…

Continue reading “2017 goals”

2+
Happy 2018!

Friday Favorites–Christmas 2016 successes

Whew! Christmas was a whirlwind around here…how ’bout for you?

Every year, it takes me by surprise how much planning we (I) put into everything–all for approximately 2 days of enjoyment. I spent countless time and energy on menu-planning, home decorating and gift selecting. I love it all so much, but man alive, does it go by quickly!

So, after having a few days to marinate on our Christmas, I thought I’d do a round-up of our Christmas 2016 successes today–from gifts to recipes.

Continue reading “Friday Favorites–Christmas 2016 successes”

2+
Happy 2018!

Taco Tuesday No More!

It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the kitchen, y’all!

Between evening choir and 4th grade musical performances at the school and a party that we hosted, I haven’t had much inclination to do my usual meal-planning and cooking routine. I’m guessing a lot of you are in the same boat. 

This week isn’t looking much better either and the only meal planning that I’m up for right now is trying to puzzle through what we’ll be eating for Christmas Eve, (typically we do a spread of finger foods, appetizers and cheese-ball type stuff) Christmas morning, (my husband wants to attempt The Pioneer Woman’s infamous cinnamon rolls) and Christmas dinner. What are you serving? I need some inspiration…

I did manage to crank out one successful, healthy Cook Smarts meal for my family last week, amidst all of the Holiday hullaboloo and wanted to share it with you today. 

(Image courtesy of Cook Smarts, because we gobbled ours down too quickly to snap a picture of the finished product)

 

I made Chicken with Mushroom White Wine Sauce for dinner on a busy school night. It came together rather easily and was healthy and delicious. Here’s what was in it:

Ingredients: Mushrooms, 2 chicken breasts, cream, thyme, white wine, shallots and chicken broth

 

I’ve spent years avoiding mushrooms, thinking that I didn’t like them. Thanks to Cook Smarts, I’ve learned that I do, in fact, like mushrooms! Cook Smarts is a weekly meal planning subscription program that provides you with menus, grocery lists and prep ideas to make getting a healthy meal on your family’s table easy and cost-effective each week.

From now through December 23, enjoy 15% off of meal plan gift certificates with the code: GIVECOMFORT at Cook Smarts. 

After the Holidays, I can’t wait to dive back into Cook Smarts meal plans. I always crave order (not to mention VEGETABLES) after the Holidays are over and Cook Smarts is the best tool in my arsenal for getting us back on track in the kitchen.

Speaking of food successes lately: For our little party that we had last week, I put together a cheese tray for noshing on when our guests arrived. It turned out pretty cute and was easy peasy to put together. You might want to give it a whirl at your own Holiday get togethers.

4 different types of cheese cubes from the deli, green and red grapes, celery for the tree trunk and rosemary for garnish.

 

Please share what’s on your Holiday menu this week to give us some inspo and ideas! 

2+