Wednesday, February 22, 2017

With Grit & Grace: March Goals

Oh, February! You do this to me every time. You creep up on me ever so slowly in January and then you pounce and just as suddenly as you appeared you hide away again. You are like a jack-in-a-box, dear February. Despite the fleetness of the month, February is one of my favorites. It is our last official full month of winter. And sometimes, like this year, it is the start of hints of spring weather. I also cannot deny that my favor may have something to do about my birthday in the middle of the month, but honestly, "Aren't I lucky to have been born in my favorite [month]?" (Meet Me in St. Louis)

I made great strides in my February goals. Not only did I only make two real goals for the month, but from the get go I told myself I was going for growth not perfection. Perfection was achieved in growth, but not necessarily completion.

February Goals Recap:
- Weekly Meal Planning
I made a meal plan 2 out of the 3 weeks that have passed so far. It is Wednesday and I have yet to plan this week's meals, but there is still time to redeem myself! And I think I'll give myself a B in carrying out the plans. The meals were made eventually, but most often not on the day I originally planned. Gauging leftovers is something I need to work on too. Some meals provided enough to spare for 3-4 extra meals. This is a happy accident, because it means less cooking! I plan to work on freezing a bit more to use throughout the month.

Breakfast was a choice of eggs, Mock Oatmeal, or Protein Shake for me; the hubby stuck with his daily cereal and the baby had oatmeal with fruit or yogurt. Lunches were mostly leftovers, canned soup, or sandwiches. Dinners are where I put the most effort. This month I made a few staples, like Stuffed Peppers or Pancakes; but mostly have been trying out some old family recipes I haven't made in a good while, like Biscuits and Gravy; and new to us recipes, like Pear Turkey Burgers.

- Get Active
I think I get a B+ in this area. I have made more of an effort to get out of the house to walk, but with the cold weather that has meant walking stores and that requires a lot of self discipline to not come out with a few unplanned purchases, but I plan on using those handweights towards fulfilling this goal better! The Spring weather this week has made reaching this goal even easier. Our little guy loves being outside!

March Goals:
Our boy turns one at the end of March (how is that even possible?)! We will be blessed to have all of our parents, grandparents, and siblings in town to celebrate the event so we are putting our focus on the house this month in addition to growing in our habits from the past two months. My plan is to create a master list of everything we would like to have accomplished prior to our guests' arrival and each day do at least one of those items.
- Daily Goal
- Continue: Weekly Meal Planning, Increase Activity, and Getting dressed each day.




Your Hosts
Christina
Blog // Instagram // Twitter /
Pinterest
Keri
Blog // Instagram // Facebook 
// Twitter // Pinterest 
How about you? Do you make goals? If so I would love for you to join Keri and I for With Grit and Grace where we focus on supporting each other as we work towards our goals! 
Just a reminder…

  • We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment, and share the posts of others- and let them know you found them at With Grace & Grit.
  • All forms of goal or intentional living posts are welcome. They can be for a specific area in your life, or your general goals for the day, week, month, or year. We love to hear updates on your progress, too.
  • Make sure to use the URL specific to your post and not your blog’s home page.
  • Link back to With Grit & Grace with our button or link in your post or party page.
  • Comment on the post prior to yours in the link-up. Support others through comments and shares– don’t forget to tell them you found them at With Grit & Grace.
  • By linking up, you give us permission to feature an image on our blog and social media. Proper credit and links will be given.
  • Join in on social media with: #withgritandgrace
  • We want to support you! Please follow your hosts in some way




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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pear Turkey Burgers

Ground turkey not smothered in cheese or hidden in soup always left me with something to be desired. It just came out 'blah' to me, but I wanted to love it for its health value. When my hairdresser shared with me that she ate a turkey burger for lunch almost everyday, I was a little surprised how she didn't grow tired of such a bland diet. I made a point to ask her the recipe once we decided we were going to focus on eating healthier this year and I finally got around to making the recipe with a few adjustments, of course. They did not disappoint! In fact, my burger loving husband said he wouldn't mind them being added to our regular rotation! If you love turkey burgers or are sampling some healthier options for your family, try these out. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!



Pear Turkey Burgers

1 lb. Ground Lean Turkey
1 Pear chopped
1 Small onion chopped
1 Tbs. Ground Flaxseed
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

Mix all ingredients together and make patties to desired size (I found the bigger patties held together better than the smaller ones, so go ahead and make quarter pounders).

Grill until cooked about 4 minutes per side. I used a grilling pan prepped with coconut oil.

Serve as traditional burgers or on a bed of rice and/or salad. 
They are also great with a bit of avocado. The warmth of the burger "melts" the avocado a bit so you have a nice creamy replacement for cheese.




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

 We just cannot seem to kick the illness bugs going around. It's been a constant rotation between the hubby, baby, and I. That and with a few other things I had to take a step back from everything outside of the home.
Snuggle with your loved ones a little more today and everyday!

We have some new faces here on the link up and I didn't give them a proper welcome last week.
Make sure you stop over and say hello to Stefanie at Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam, & Dylan Too and Lindsay at Lindsay's Sweet World. We are ecstatic to have them join us. Welcome Ladies!


Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Crystal at Hall Around Texas | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Word of the Year and With Grit & Grace

2016 was a big year of change for us. We had our son and I left my job to stay at home and raise him.
It was not long after being at home full time that I began having doubts about our choice. There was so much going on in the world and I felt that being "just a mom" gave me no influence. I knew this was not true, but yet I let myself believe it and lost some of my joy.

In September and October I had some reflective moments and realized that I had forgotten to dream. When I closed my eyes and thought about how I desired my future to look, feel, taste, smell, and sound, there was one word that kept coming to me: home. At the core of my dreams was the home and family my husband and I were building. And then later in the year, I stumbled across a quote scribbled in a notebook and broke down in tears.



My heart felt like it could burst. For as long as I can remember I have felt conflicted with wanting to do something big, something that would change the world, and wanting to create a beautiful, loving home. And here was my answer to all the turmoil, doubt, and discontent. I was doing exactly what I was called to do and it fulfilled my deepest desires. God is so good!

I have chosen a word of the year for the past few years and I will be honest at first I thought, This is it! I have my word. It is HOME! 2017 would be the year I focused on my home and growing there. Small home improvements, daily routines, meal planning, deep cleaning...those would be my focus.
Well, all of this is still true, but the Spirit nudged me a little further.

 My past words have all been virtues and that was something I wanted to continue. I wanted it to be an adjective that I could use to describe my life; a word that would describe my home. As I ruminated over all these little moments of reflection a sense overwhelmed me and I knew that was the word to which 2017 would be dedicated. I just had to swap out a letter and I had it!

HOPE.

And the sense of hope I felt called to is summarized by a quote from one of my favorite Theologians.




"The one who has hope lives differently." Yes, 2017 will be a year lived differently. 
For me that is getting dressed in the morning even though we're staying home, planning healthy meals, daily routines, cleaning and decorating the house, playing with the baby, praying for the grit and grace to see it through, and intentionally living this beautiful life I've been given. My differently may look pretty darn ordinary to the outside world, but that ordinary is extraordinary and fills my life with love, laughter, and hope.

What is your word/resolution for 2017?

January Goals & Recap:
- Get dressed in the morning
- Pick Word of the Year
- Long term planning for 2017

February Goals: 
- Weekly Meal Planning
- Get active! 


Your Hosts
Christina
Blog // Instagram // Twitter /
Pinterest
Keri
Blog // Instagram // Facebook 
// Twitter // Pinterest 
How about you? Do you make goals? If so I would love for you to join Christina and I for With Grit and Grace where we focus on supporting each other as we work towards our goals! 
Just a reminder…

  • We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment, and share the posts of others- and let them know you found them at With Grace & Grit.
  • All forms of goal or intentional living posts are welcome. They can be for a specific area in your life, or your general goals for the day, week, month, or year. We love to hear updates on your progress, too.
  • Make sure to use the URL specific to your post and not your blog’s home page.
  • Link back to With Grit & Grace with our button or link in your post or party page.
  • Comment on the post prior to yours in the link-up. Support others through comments and shares– don’t forget to tell them you found them at With Grit & Grace.
  • By linking up, you give us permission to feature an image on our blog and social media. Proper credit and links will be given.
  • Join in on social media with: #withgritandgrace
  • We want to support you! Please follow your hosts in some way






Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Crockpot Pesto Chicken

Continuing with the recipe trend on my blog lately (more on the reason why tomorrow :) here is a nutritional dinner that is not only easy, but yummy!


Crockpot Pesto Chicken

1-2 lbs of Chicken breasts
1 cup of Pesto (I used Kirkland from Costco)
3-4 cups of veggies of choice (I used brussel sprouts and can't wait to try some others)
3 Tbs. Water
Olive Oil


In a crockpot layer chicken, pesto, and veggies. 

Drizzle with Olive Oil and water.

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

Serve with multi-grain pasta or brown rice.

Ta da! That's it! So simple and yummy! This is going on my list of go to meals! 

Speaking of meals and planning...

1) you can still sign up to get Keri's Meal Plan Challenge! Check it out. It's really helped me in breaking down how to tackle my meal planning goals.
2) With Grit & Grace is back for 2017 and it starts tomorrow!




Waltzing In Beauty








  Please remember your lovely posts will be shared on our thirteen blogs and we would love it if you would return the favor and link back to us (you can grab the button above).  By linking back you'll have the opportunity to be featured in our feature posts and Pinterest board here












Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Perfect Breakfast Shake

One of our new year resolutions is to be more intentional with our health. Making smart food choices is integral for us. Starting the day off on the right foot is essential for me...otherwise I turn into a hangry (hungy and angry) bear or a puddle. That start for me is a protein filled breakfast of eggs, mock oatmeal, or a protein shake. I do like a little variety in my meals, so the versatility of a protein shake is perfect for my mornings. You can go simple or fill that baby up with fruits and veggies.

Right now my favorite blend is what I like to call, "Almond Coconut Joy," because it is joy in liquid form.



Almond Coconut Joy Protein Shake

2 Scoops Arbonne Essentials Chocolate Protein Shake Mix
8 oz. Almond or Coconut milk
1 Tbs. Almond Butter
3 Tbs. Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
3-4 Ice Cubes
1 Scoop Arbonne Essentials Daily Fiber Boost
1 Scoop Arbonne Essentials Greens Balance 

What's your perfect shake blend? Link them up below or share in the comments!






Waltzing In Beauty








  Please remember your lovely posts will be shared on our thirteen blogs and we would love it if you would return the favor and link back to us (you can grab the button above).  By linking back you'll have the opportunity to be featured in our feature posts and Pinterest board here















Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers - Mexican or Italian Style

Looking back it seems like a hazy dream.
I can picture the kitchen of our home that we lived in back then.
I can feel the fascination and anticipation for the moment.
I can sense the warmth spreading through my body until it envelopes me like a hug.The warmth of a lovingly made home cooked meal.

Maybe it is my Italian heritage coming through, but food has always been a language of love for me.

When my grandma served stuffed peppers for the first time, I was fascinated by them. I think the idea of eating food out of an edible bowl seemed undeniably fancy. And yet, the contents of that fancy meal were ordinary and called for all the goodness that makes up comfort food. Fancy comfort food - the paradox excited me and I held stuffed green peppers in the highest of esteem, reserving them in my mind for special occasions.

As with most recipes for special occasions, I automatically associated stuffed peppers with complicated recipes, long hours of toil in the kitchen, and mounds of clean up. This couldn't be much further from the truth. You can get by with the bare essentials of your kitchen and the recipe offers a variety of options with which it's hard to go wrong.

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers - Mexican or Italian Style
Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of my grandma's recipe written down, so this is an adaptation of this recipe to recreate it, as well as offer some variety.

6 peppers (any color - I'm using green because that's what Grandma did)
1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey
1 can (14 ounce) black or white beans, drained (you could substitute any kind of bean you like or skip them all together for a more authentic Italian style)
1 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes (you can use ones with seasoning already for variety)
1 cup uncooked quinoa or cooked rice (optional, but I think it helps balance the texture and lighten the meal from the heaviness of the ground meat, I didn't have either when I made this recipe last)
Mexican Style: 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin
Italian Style: 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice

Serving:
 
Mexican Style: avocado, cilantro, salsa, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, and/or lime juice
Italian Style: Parmesan or Romano cheeses, marinara sauce, pasta (if you skipped the rice and quinoa), and/or your favorite bread to wipe your plate clean (as all good little Italians do)



Wash then slice the tops off the peppers as closely to the top as possible. Remove the seeds and set aside.

In a bowl combine the desired meat, beans, quinoa, spices and cheese of your choice.

Then scoop the filling into the peppers, placing the stuffed peppers into the crock pot. 
Note: Depending on the size of the peppers you may not be able to fit all 6. If you have extra stuffing you could cook in a saucepan until the meat is browned to be served on the side or eaten at another time.

Pour 1/2 cup of water into the base of the crock pot.

Cover and heat on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Towards the end, place some more shredded cheese on top of each pepper to melt it.

Serve with the desired toppings and sides and enjoy!

And while we're speaking of meals...efficient meal planning is one of the areas I want to work on for 2017. It is perfect timing that my friend, Keri, is offering a 7 day challenge starting later this month; will you join me? Sign up below!



 Are you tired of trying to decide what is for dinner at 4pm? Do you find yourself running to the grocery store every other day? Have you tried meal planning before but it just didn't work? Well friends, I have a challenge for you! Join me for 7 days starting January 15th as I share a series via email for how you can start meal planning! http://eepurl.com/cwOjbr






Waltzing In Beauty



  Please remember your lovely posts will be shared on our thirteen blogs and we would love it if you would return the favor and link back to us (you can grab the button above).  By linking back you'll have the opportunity to be featured in our feature posts and Pinterest board here


























 

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