Thursday, May 30, 2013

De and Doug's Den: Reading and Movie Goals Update


Here is an update of how I'm doing on my "entertainment" goals so far this year!!!

List of twelve varied classics I want to read this year, hopefully completing one each month:

-- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
-- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
-- Anna Karenina
-- Arabian Nights
-- The Catcher in the Rye
-- Great Expectations
-- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
-- Jane Eyre
-- The Last of the Mohicans
-- Mere Christianity
-- The Poems of Emily Dickinson
-- The Three Musketeers

List of twelve classic movies:

-- An Affair to Remember
-- Casablanca
-- Dial M for Murder
-- The Godfather Trilogy
-- It Happened One Night
-- Kiss Me Kate
-- The Maltese Falcon
-- Mary Poppins
-- The Postman Always Rings Twice
-- Pretty in Pink
-- Strangers on a Train
-- Vertigo

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan

Even though classes are over (hooray!), I wasn't able to fully convert over to my normal two-week meal planning schedule straight away since I went out of town for my cousin's wedding!!!

This week begins our 10-day menu until my parents arrive to begin helping us pack!  As usual, I decided on some varied main courses that we can simply choose the day before.  Now that we have a little more time, there are some time-consuming dishes. (i.e. more than dump in Crock Pot or bake in oven, I didn't go too crazy!!!)

Broiled Lobster Tails w/ Spaghetti Squash
Steamed Shrimp w/ Spinach Alfredo
Tilapia w/ Corn on the Cob and Rice
Cheesy Tuna Pasta w/ Broccoli
Grilled London Broil w/ Baked Potatoes and Broccoli
Meatloaf w/ Corn on the Cob and Baked Squash
Chili Mac w/ Salad and Rolls
Steak, Chicken, and Veggie Fried Rice
Grilled Chicken w/ Broccoli and Rice
Chicken Quesadillas w/ Spanish Rice
Chicken Florentine Pasta
Zucchini Cakes w/ Baked Potatoes

Monday, May 20, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (May 20-26)


What a crazy week!  I'm writing this goal post from my parents house in PA after a fun weekend celebrating my cousin's wedding, but I will be heading back to my home in VA soon ;)

May Goals
1.  Set up 1-2 more friends/family "dates" -- still working on this ;)
2.  Enjoy my cousin's wedding and time with family
3.  Play board games with Doug this week -- we watched movies instead, per his request

Housework/Errands
4.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!) -- no blog because there was no plan! Long story...
5.  Laundry and Packing for trip to PA

Personal
6.  Begin reading Arabian Nights
7.  Watch Pretty in Pink and It Happened One Night
8.  Rest and relax at home!!!

This week of being able to be at home and relax with no schoolwork was great!  Now that we've gotten some much deserved R & R, we are ready to begin organizing and packing for our move!!!  Even though we are only moving a few blocks to a bigger apartment, there is a lot of packing and decluttering to do so that we aren't overwhelmed with boxes (or piles of stuff) on moving day ;)

May Goals
1.  Correspond and catch-up with family/friends
2.  Spend quality time with Doug this week (playing games, going to a movie)

Housework/Errands
3.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
4.  Surface cleaning and decluttering

Moving Goals
5.  Clean Kitchen
6.  Laundry!  Sorted and stowed or bagged for charity/donations

Personal
7.  Begin reading Arabian Nights (!!!)
8.  Watch It Happened One Night

Monday, May 13, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals


Last week was a success because 1) Doug and I graduated with our Masters' degrees and 2) our house was clean enough to have company over!!!


May Goals/Personal
1.  Set up "date" times with 2-3 friends/family members -- one left to go!
2.  Watch Original Star Trek Movie with Doug
3.  Begin reading Arabian Nights

School/Homework
4.  Complete Psalms Reading and Exam
5.  Dance because I finished my Masters' Degree!!!

Housework/Errands
6.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
7.  Surface clean the apartment (for friends to be able to visit!)

This week is "transition week" in our house; we are taking the week off to relax and get ready for our new school-free schedules, as well as get some much needed rest before beginning to pack up our apartment to move in June!  Still, it's nice to have some goals ;)

May Goals
1.  Set up 1-2 more friends/family "dates"
2.  Enjoy my cousin's wedding and time with family
3.  Play board games with Doug this week

Housework/Errands
4.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
5.  Laundry and Packing for trip to PA

Personal
6.  Begin reading Arabian Nights
7.  Watch Pretty in Pink and It Happened One Night
8.  Rest and relax at home!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Distinctive

Distinctive (adj):  different, unique, original

Today, my life is taking a new turn.

I have completed all the work necessary in order to graduate with my 90-hour M.Div, a process that has taken the entirety of four years of my life, almost to the day.

And I have no idea what to do with it.

Let me explain:  I have a lot of options and choices ahead, but none of them seem "right."  Maybe I just don't want to "grow up" and "be an adult" that is out of school, but even continuing my education seems like the wrong step to take.  And for someone who tends to plan out (in detail) the next, oh 40-50 years, not knowing what I'll be doing in 3 months or 6 months or a year is kinda super frightening.

However...
I have spent that last year and a half slowing down and enjoying my life instead of merely "doing" life, and it has been a huge transformation for me.  Even the fact that I am NOT rushing into the next "thing" after graduating is contrary to my nature.  Taking a break is not something I naturally strive to do.  But here I am, graduating with a supercharged degree, having absolutely no answer to "what are you doing after graduation?" or "what's next for you?".  And I'm okay with that.  If there is any proof of change in me, and of God's peace in my life, it is that I am completely okay with not knowing what will happen next.  In fact, I'm not even worried about the options and what I'm going to do next.  Whoa.

But, hey, let's not get crazy.  I still have some short term goals and plans ;)  After all, moving in 6 weeks will take a lot of time, effort, and organizational stamina. (PS Today is my two-year apartment-versary!)  Once we are settled in our new apartment, I think the dust will begin to settle, and I will look around and realize I need something to do.  I need a plan.  I need to figure things out.

But I know there's no rush.  And that is completely foreign to me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan

With graduation around the corner, Doug and I are still banking on quick and easy meals.  Plus, we are working to clean out our pantry items before we move!

Here are our main meals for this week:
Broiled Lobster Tails w/ Zucchini, Butter, and Garlic Pasta (nice celebration meal)
Broiled Salmon w/ Wilted Spinach and Alfredo
Baked Pork Chops w/ Roasted Squash and Cheesy Rice
Grilled Chicken Tacos w/ Peppers, Onions, and Mexican Rice
Grilled Steak and Cheesy Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes

Design: Weekly Goals (May 7-12)


Oh my goodness, what a week!  Between lease signing, paper-writing, studying for a Final, and my little cousin's 5th birthday party, I have barely had a chance to breathe!


May Goals/Personal
1.  Set up "date" times with 3 friends and family members -- Only set up one (with my Gram) which was practically already set before I even began focusing on friends and family!  Still, I'm counting it.
2.  Go see Iron Man 3 with Doug this week

School/Homework
3.  Write and Submit my Psalms Analysis Paper
4.  Study for upcoming Greek Final (5/6)

Housework/Errands
5.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Begin decluttering/packing for our move to a new, bigger apartment ;) -- My dear husband put a stop to my decluttering and packing madness with a sweet reminder that we have SEVEN weeks until we move, but only ONE week until graduation.  He is so wise.

This week should be a bit easier and revert back to normal since I only have one Exam between me and graduation!  We will have some friends in town this weekend, so much needed cleaning is in order ;)

May Goals/Personal
1.  Set up "date" times with 2-3 friends/family members
2.  Watch Original Star Trek Movie with Doug
3.  Begin reading Arabian Nights

School/Homework
4.  Complete Psalms Reading and Exam
5.  Dance because I finished my Masters' Degree!!!

Housework/Errands
6.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
7.  Surface clean the apartment (for friends to be able to visit!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Design: May Goals

May = Graduating with my MDiv, packing up my home in order to move, and celebrating my cousin's wedding!  Whew!

2013 Spring Goals
As I said last month, giving my time and focus to my friends and family can never truly be a checklist of goals, but must stem out of habitual change in my own life.  I tried to ease into things last month, but now I need to move things up a bit ;)

1.  Plan regular "dates" with friends and family members (even if they are Skype dates).
2.  Begin corresponding more with long-distance friends and family.
3.  Go out of my way to do something fun with Doug each week. (He's a quality time guy.)

Other Goals
4.  Read the Poems of Emily Dickinson; read Arabian Nights
5.  Watch It Happened One Night, Pretty in Pink, and An Affair to Remember
6.  Complete all my schoolwork in order to GRADUATE!
7.  Have fun with friends and family at my cousin's wedding
8.  Begin packing for our move!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan

De to the stress of finals and exams, I have returned to shopping and planning for one week at a time.  This should also help with our upcoming move so that all freezer and pantry items do not need to be moved with us!

These are all quick and simple meals that take little hands-on time!  Perfect for healthy eating during a busy final week of classes.

Viola Chicken Florentine Meal -- one skillet meal
Frozen Pizza -- fire up the oven!
Broiled Salmon with Pasta and Squash -- oven and one pot, some chopping required
Sauteed Scallops with Pasta and Spinach -- one pot meal
Grilled Steaks with Potatoes and Broccoli -- grill and microwave on this one!
Grilled Chicken with Cheddar Broccoli Rice -- grill and one pot

Document: April

April has been a blur.  Quite honestly, I barely remember most of what happened (apart from Melissa's Wedding, our quick Baltimore trip, and Leslie's Baby Shower)!!!  I know there was a lot of Psalms reading and Greek......

2013 Spring Goals
It has been so refreshing to be praying over my friends and family intentionally and working to make them a focused part of my life!  I have been able to reach out and connect with more friends and family this month, but I will be working to be more intentional about giving them focused time.

Other Goals
I finally finished Great Expectations, and ready to dig into Emily Dickinson and Arabian Nights!  (I just haven't been feeling Tom Sawyer-ish.)  Doug and I finally watched Dial M for Murder (which was really good), and It Happened One Night is next in our Netflix Queue.  Out of everything from April, celebrating Melissa's Wedding and Leslie's Shower, along with a small break to see some friends in DC and go to the Aquarium in Baltimore!  (Sorry no pictures; we thought we had lost our camera!)

Design: Weekly Goals (April 29 - May 5)


This has been a crazy week!  I'm a day behind because I got so caught up reading over the material from the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle I got yesterday!  So many of my favorite bloggers gathered together with other bloggers to put together a huge bundle of 97 eBooks and eCourses (along with some fun extras), and I just can't say no to books and knowledge!

Anyways, here how my goals from last week looked:

April Goals/Personal
1.  Maintain relationships with my friends and family
2.  Go out of my way to show love and respect to Doug this week

School/Homework
3.  Greek "mi" verbs
4.  Psalms Reading (100+ pages) and Essay (925-1200 words)

Housework/Errands
5.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Spring Cleaning:  Decluttering -- the task that keeps on giving ;)

This week, I start my May Goals (which will be posted in full tomorrow)!  I also have a big paper and a Final Exam to study for, making this week kinda hectic.  Oh, a signing a lease to move to a new apartment in a few weeks.  Crazy!!!

May Goals/Personal
1.  Set up "date" times with 3 friends and family members
2.  Go see Iron Man 3 with Doug this week

School/Homework
3.  Write and Submit my Psalms Analysis Paper
4.  Study for upcoming Greek Final (5/6)

Housework/Errands
5.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Begin decluttering/packing for our move to a new, bigger apartment ;)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



This week is full of quick and simple recipes!

Tuna Melts w/ Cheddar Broccoli Rice
Calamari Citrus Salad w/ Alfredo Pasta
Broiled Salmon w/ Butter and Garlic Pasta, Baked Squash
Quesadillas w/ Mexican Rice, Peppers, and Onions
Broiled Pork Chops w/ Pasta and Broccoli
Grilled Top Round Steak w/ Baked Potatoes and Steamed Veggies

One of our go-to quick and easy meals is Tuna Melts!

--  Mix canned tuna, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
-- Scoop tuna onto English Muffins or Hamburger Buns
-- Add a slice of Cheddar Cheese on top
-- Broil 6 in from heat for 5-7 minutes.

Simple, easy, filling, and packed with protein!  Add different spices or change up the cheese for a change.

Design: Weekly Goals (Apr 22-28)


This week has felt so long even though it was a short week for us!  I think I accomplished quite a bit ;)


April Goals/Personal
1.  Go out of my way to demonstrate love to Doug, one friend, and one family member this week
2.  Finish Great Expectations

School/Homework
3.  Greek Infinitives and Imperatives
4.  Psalms Reading (100+ pages) and Book Review (1200-1500 words)

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Spring Cleaning:  Floors and Decluttering

Well, I have 18 days of my Master's degree left, and only 4 Greek classes!  I can't believe that I will have my M.Div in just over two weeks!  It's crunch time ;)

April Goals/Personal
1.  Maintain relationships with my friends and family
2.  Go out of my way to show love and respect to Doug this week

School/Homework
3.  Greek "mi" verbs
4.  Psalms Reading (100+ pages) and Essay (925-1200 words)

Housework/Errands
5.  Grocery Shopping/Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Spring Cleaning:  Decluttering

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan

We have a short week this week, so I only have four main meals planned!

Turkey Quesadillas with Spanish Rice, Peppers, and Onions
Pork Chops with Herbed Pasta
Clam Chowder
Veggie-Loaded Pasta

For our Turkey Quesadillas, I just boiled some Turkey Wings (that I found on Manager's Special) in salt, pepper, and Old Bay seasoning; I "shredded" the meat (It fell off the bone.) and stored it in the fridge over this weekend.  We use Canola Oil spray for the skillet, warm a tortilla shell, add cheese ad meat, then fold in half and press to seal!

Pepper and Onion Spanish Rice is a great side; you can control the level of spiciness for the overall meal!  Even on my most tired days, this only takes 15 minutes from start to finish.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Apr 16-21)



I'm off to a bit of a late start this week due to our trip to Chesapeake and Inner Harbor over the last few days!  We "lost" of camera after the wedding and did not find it until we were on our way home, so no pictures!  Still we had a great time ;)  Luckily, I completed most of my goals before our trip.

April Goals/Personal
1.  Connect with three friends/family members this week
2.  Show love and respect to Doug daily
3.  Enjoy Liss's Wedding (and our excursion trip)
4.  Watch Dial M for Murder; Finish Great Expectations

School/Homework
5.  Greek Infinitive Verbs
6.  Psalms Reading (~200 pages) and Quiz/Test

Housework/Errands
7.  Grocery Shopping, Menu Plan (and blog!)
8.  Spring Cleaning:  Kitchen

Since this week is short, I really need to focus on school and keeping up my health/daily habits.  Only 25 days until I complete my Masters' degree!!!

April Goals/Personal
1.  Go out of my way to demonstrate love to Doug, one friend, and one family member this week
2.  Finish Great Expectations

School/Homework
3.  Greek Infinitives and Imperatives
4.  Psalms Reading (100+ pages) and Book Review (1200-1500 words)

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Spring Cleaning:  Floors and Decluttering

Monday, April 8, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



I am continuing my new Menu Planning Method called Grouping that I began at the end of March. (You can read more about Grouping here!)

Due to a wedding this weekend (and our excursion to Baltimore for a few days), I only needed to plan five main meals this week!

Main Meals This Week:
Scallops with Broccoli Pasta
Buffalo-Breaded Pork Chops with Spinach Alfredo Pasta
Sausage, Pepper, and Onion Hoagies with Fresh Fruit
Veggie-Loaded Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Grilled Turkey/Ham Cheese Sandwiches with Fresh Fruit

I tried to plan some simple (and easy to clean up) meals so that we can focus on school and packing instead of keeping up with dishes and cooking.  Most of these meals can be prepped and ready to go in 15-20 minutes!!!  One thing I am doing to save time is roasting my spaghetti squash in advance.  By prepping it a day earlier, I can simply prepare my veggie-loaded sauce and add the squash!

Recipe for Veggie-Loaded Spaghetti Sauce:
1.  Roast and Prepare Spaghetti Squash.  I am roasting my squash whole, but there are method where you can halve and then roast the squash.  I am using these step-by-step instructions.  You can serve the "spaghetti" straight away or refrigerate for another day (preferably no longer than 3 days).

2.  Saute extra veggies for your sauce.  I melt butter in a medium or large pot, then add chopped mushrooms and onions.  Feel free to add peppers, garlic, tomatoes -- anything you want!  Cook until soft and browned.

3.  Add spaghetti sauce to the veggie mixture.  For this dish, I like using a chunky or loaded tomato sauce (extra veggies!).  For a creamy side, alfredo would work well.  If you want something light and fresh (which would go well with fish or shellfish), go scampi style with butter, lemon juice, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

4.  Mix and Serve!  Plate the squash and top with sauce.  If refrigerated, you can stir the squash into the sauce to warm through before serving.

** You can make this a heartier dish by adding some ground turkey or bacon, serving bread on the side, or adding some thin whole wheat pasta to the dish!

Design: Weekly Goals (Apr 8-14)



For someone who still thinks it's February, it surprises me d a i l y that we are in our second week of March April!  We had a freak snow storm earlier this week, but today is warm and sunny!  I may never get comfortable with Virginia springtime ;)

Even with the weird weather, I think I did quite well on my goals for last week:


April Goals/Personal
1.  Make a friends and family prayer list to pray over this week
2.  Show love and respect to Doug daily
3.  Finish making gift for my friend Leslie's Baby Shower
4.  Watch Dial M for Murder -- foiled again!

School/Homework
5.  Begin Greek non-Indicative Verbs
6.  Psalms Reading (100+ pages) and Essay (925-1500 words total) -- I'm a bit behind on my reading

Housework/Errands
7.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
8.  Begin Spring Cleaning (Living Room and Guest Room)

Bonus:  Maintain my "daily priorities" for eating, exercise, and sleep

This week I need to kick things into high gear; I only have a month left of school!  Now is the time to buckle down and put in the hard work so that Finals aren't as stressful.  Another reason to work hard this week is so that I can take full advantage of the long weekend Doug and I have planned in Chesapeake and Baltimore's Inner Harbor ;)

April Goals/Personal
1.  Connect with three friends/family members this week
2.  Show love and respect to Doug daily
3.  Enjoy Liss's Wedding (and our excursion trip)
4.  Watch Dial M for Murder; Finish Great Expectations

School/Homework
5.  Greek Infinitive Verbs
6.  Psalms Reading (~200 pages) and Quiz/Test

Housework/Errands
7.  Grocery Shopping, Menu Plan (and blog!)
8.  Spring Cleaning:  Kitchen

Monday, April 1, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan (Apr 1-7)

Last week I tried a new planning method by grouping my meals (Breakfasts, Mains, Snacks) and coming up with options for each group.  That has been working out really well!  It's great to have a few options for each day, and it is pretty easy to keep on track with what's available.

Here's my list of Main Meals for this week:
Tuna Melts w/ Fries
Scallops in Herbed Pasta w/ Steamed Green Beans
Broiled Pork Chops w/ Alfredo Spinach Pasta
Chicken Enchiladas w/ Spanish Rice and Corn (leftover meal)
Grilled Chicken w/ Cheesy Rice and Steamed Broccoli
Sausage Sandwiches w/ Broccoli Pasta
Grilled Cheddar, Apple, and Onion Sandwiches

Here's my recipe for Quick and Easy Chicken Enchiladas:
1.  Prep Shredded Chicken your favorite way.  The quickest way is to boil the chicken (with some salt) for 20 minutes and then shred in my KitchenAid Stand Mixer (use the Stir setting, and then a slow setting) for 1-2 minutes.  Another easy way is to put frozen chicken in a Crock Pot with a can of Cream of ______ Soup (we used Cream of Chicken) on Low for 6 hours; it falls to pieces.  Let cool, refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze to use later.  By making the chicken in advance, these enchiladas come together in about 5 minutes for me!

2.  Get together any other "filling" ingredients you want.  Doug and I just used the chicken and some shredded cheese, but canned beans, corn, or cooked onions and peppers are great add-ins.

3.  Roll enchiladas using cold fillings and 8-inch tortillas shells.  The shells are the perfect size for a 9 x 13 baking dish.  We used a large spoon to line each shell with shredded chicken (if frozen, defrost first) and some cheese; you want to have enough room to easily roll the shell into a log.

4.  Top enchiladas with your favorite sauce and some cheese.  We like Red Enchilada Sauce, but any sauce you like will work.  Friends have even used alfredo sauce!  We like to sprinkle some cheese across the top to make it extra gooey.  If preparing in advance, cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated; let stand at room temp for 5 minutes before baking.

5.  Heat in oven for 10-15 minutes.  Bake uncovered at 350-375.  If you have more fillings, use the higher temp and the higher time.  Remember, you just need to heat through the enchiladas!

Design: Weekly Goals (Apr 1-7)


I really cannot believe that April is here!!!  Thanks to a snow in late March, it truly feels like I time-warped from January to April.

Anyways!  A new month means a new set of goals!  (You can read about how March ended here.)

April Goals/Personal
1.  Make a friends and family prayer list to pray over this week
2.  Show love and respect to Doug daily
3.  Finish making gift for my friend Leslie's Baby Shower
4.  Watch Dial M for Murder

School/Homework
5.  Begin Greek non-Indicative Verbs
6.  Psalms Reading (100+ pages) and Essay (925-1500 words total)

Housework/Errands
7.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
8.  Begin Spring Cleaning (Living Room and Guest Room)

Bonus:  Maintain my "daily priorities" for eating, exercise, and sleep

Design: April

Spring has sprung!!!  April is here, which means more sunshine and showers, but less time until school ends!

2013 Spring Goals
Since I want to build my relationships with Doug, our families, and our friends, it is difficult to make a checklist of goals!  I think the best thing I can do is begin habits in my own life to make me a better friend and communicator, though I am starting slowly ;)

1.  Make a Prayer List for my friends and family; pray over it daily
2.  Make it a point to reach out to a handful of family and friends
3.  Do something to show love and respect to my husband every day

Other Goals
4.  Finish Great Expectations; read the Poems of Emily Dickinson; begin Tom Sawyer
5.  Watch Dial M for Murder, It Happened One Night, and An Affair to Remember
6.  Celebrate at my friend Leslie's Baby Shower and my friend Melissa's Wedding
7.  Enjoy a long weekend in Baltimore with Doug

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Document: March

After March came swooping in, disrupting life here with flat tires, snow storms, and big projects, it is finally leaving "like a lamb" with Spring finally here!  Even though March was pretty jam-packed, I'm a little sad to see it end; it marks the end of my 2013 Winter Goals, allowing me to evaluate the last three months and prepare for 2013 Spring!!!

2013 Winter Goals
Back in January, I set out goals for myself which encompassed four area of my life that I wanted to improve upon this year, the first being to take care of myself and be healthy; this centered on eating habits, exercise, sleep habits, and personal time.

I started out slowly in January, made progress in February, and had a handle on my "daily priorities" in March.  While there is definite progress, this is still an area where I am constantly struggling!  Sometimes it seems selfish to take intentional time for yourself, but it is necessary in order to live a balanced and fruitful life.  If I can do it, so can you!

Here are some differences I have made in the last three months:
-- I am eating breakfast regularly; in fact, I often wake up hungry!
-- I am eating more "whole foods" and more produce than processed or packaged snacks
-- I am drinking water instead of soda, juice, and sports drinks
-- I am taking time to exercise and be active daily (well, nearly daily)
-- I have successfully adjusted my sleep times, which is really difficult!
-- I have personal time each day, and I am taking a "Sabbath" each week

Other Goals
While I am a bit behind on my reading goals, I am working through Great Expectations and ready to read Emily Dickinson's poems.  My movie-watching has been less successful; Dial M for Murder seems to have a permanent home in its Netflix case.  Hopefully I can remedy that soon.  One of the best things I did this month was to read a Proverb a Day.

Our trip to PA was great even though it was pretty busy.  It had been nearly a year since our last visit, so it was definitely time for us to see friends and family!  Though that trip took up half of Spring Break, I was still able to have ample down time and relaxation during our time off school ;)

Moving Forward
For the next three months (Spring 2013) I will be working on my relationships, specifically working for quality and ways to strengthen and sustain my friendships and family relationships.  April is full of celebrations, including a baby shower and a wedding!  Doug and I are taking some extra time off for the wedding to enjoy Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the DC Zoo ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan (Mar 25-31)


Another week, another Meal Plan!  This week I decided to try "grouping" planning; instead of picking one meal per day, I chose enough meals to cover the entire menu (7 breakfasts, 9 main meals, 5 small meals, snacks, and desserts) listed by the appropriate group.

Pros of Grouping
-- I can easily plan for variety.  By listing my meals together, I was able to make sure we were eating more Fish and Lean Meat (White Meat) rather than Red Meat.  I also tried to include one vegetarian meal per week (but don't tell Doug!).

-- I'm not "locked-in" to a certain meal each day.  This has been my biggest problem while meal planning because Doug and I live very hectic lives, especially as students.  When projects or papers are taking more time than we thought (or we're more tired than we thought!), I can pick an "easier" option from the list rather than heading straight for the Take-Out Menus or Fast Food Coupons.

-- It helps to fill in nutritional gaps.  I often only thought about snacks for Doug to take to work, but now I have enough snacks and desserts listed for both of us for the week.  I only thought about my own breakfasts; now I have food planned for both of us each morning.  Likewise, it is easier to mix and match daily meals based on the food groups or nutrients missing for the day (example:  matching a protein-filled breakfast with a vegetarian lunch).

Cons of Grouping
-- It requires more day-to-day thought.  For someone who freezes most of her meat and veggies, this type of meal plan means I have to plan each day for the next day.  Being a little proactive can help; make sure there are at least two "quick" meals on the list that don't require a lot of forethought (like Tuna Melts).

-- At the end of the week, you're "stuck" with the meal that is left.  Once again, a little forethought can help with this problem.  Since I plan two weeks at a time, I have some extra meals I can swap during the first week, and most weeks we have leftovers or unused meals to provide more options.

Anyways!  Here are my "Main Meals" for this week:

Broiled Salmon w/ Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Broiled Catfish w/ Herbed Pasta and Steamed Veggies
Baked Pork Chops w/ White Cheddar Shells and Spinach
Chicken Enchiladas w/ Spanish Rice and Corn
Roast Turkey Breast w/ Stuffing and Roasted Squash (EASTER!)
Beef Rib Hoagies w/ Chips and Fruit
Veggie-Loaded Pasta

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 25-31)


The first week of a new class always seems crazier and busier than other weeks somehow.  A flat tire at 1 AM and a touch of the flu made it seem even worse!  My weekly goals from last week helped to keep me on track during an otherwise hectic week.


March Goals
1.  Fulfill daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Adjectival and Perfect Participles
4.  Psalms Reading (~100 pages) and Quiz

Housework/Errands
5.  Begin Spring Cleaning! -- the 4-6 inches of snow outside say "no Spring for you!"
6.  Menu Plan (and blog!)

Personal
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder -- The movie still alludes me
8.  Begin reading Great Expectations

This week officially ends March (oh my!) and hopefully all of its madness will end as well, leaving us with a stress-free Spring!  Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:

March Goals
1.  Fulfill daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Exam (Friday)
4.  Psalms Reading (50-70 pgs) and Essay (925-1500 words total)

Housework/Errands
5.  Grocery Shopping and Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Set up Spring Cleaning Plan

Personal
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder (!!!)
8.  Read Great Expectations

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dedicated: A Tribute to my Grandpa

A year ago today, my grandfather passed away.  At the time, there was too much going on to really deal with our grief as a family alongside our joy of the end of his sickness and pain, as well as the fact that he would be in heaven for Easter (his absolute favorite time of year).  And though I promised I would talk about this all a year ago, I couldn't do it.  It was still too fresh and too deep.  Today, it is still too fresh and too deep, but there is too much to say in tribute to my Pap, John Finnigan.

I was so blessed to grow up only a few miles from my grandparents; they baby-sat me when I was small and watched me during summers while my parents worked.  They taught me letters.  They taught me numbers.  They read to me and colored with me.  I learned to cook.  I learned to play games and share and take turns.  They taught me the fifty states and the state capitals.  They taught me the Pledge of Allegiance.  They taught me how to care of pets and how to make dozens of different crafts.  They taught me songs and how to play the piano and encouraged me to sing.

Most importantly, they taught me about the Bible.  They told me Bible Stories (the real stories, not the kids' Bible versions).  They taught me the books of the Bible.  They repeated verses to me until I memorized them.  They told me about God and His love.  They taught me about Jesus.

I can remember spending hours with my grandpa as he showed me archaeology magazines and articles of Biblical findings.  He showed me pictures of Israel and Jerusalem, drawings of Solomon's Temple and the post-exilic Temple, and maps of the world of the Bible.  While both of my parents taught me so much about the Bible, and while I learned a lot at my Christian School, it was in these moments with my grandpa that the Bible became real and relative to me.

Now, mere weeks from graduating with an M.Div focused on the Old Testament and Hebrew, while struggling through a Greek class, while studying the Bible in-depth on my own, I can't help but remember those times with my grandpa and how, without them, I probably would not be where I am today.  Not just academically, but also as a person.

He taught me that all this knowledge and research and study about the Bible was only good for one thing:  serving God with my life and inviting others to do the same.  I honestly believe that the life lesson he taught me wasn't how important it was to learn, but how valuable that knowledge could be if shared with others.

It was never something he said or taught me, but rather something I saw throughout his life.  He spent hours studying and writing books and learning, but he spent just as much time talking to people and praying for them and teaching them about the Bible.  He made friends everywhere he went, and I can't remember a time where he did not ask to pray for them, or ask if they knew about Jesus, or if they were still making it to church.

So many times, I have seen friends and colleagues become hardened by researching and disillusioned by theories and study.  I have seen books and papers take the place of fellowship and community.  Often I have wondered why I am still so burdened and tender-hearted, much more than my cohorts.  For a long time, I thought maybe it was more about gender than personality or values, but over the last year of remembering my grandpa I have realized that it probably has to do more with attitude and upbringing.  I had a great example in him of how to balance the head and the heart, an example that was passed on to my parents and the rest of our family, and an example I hope to continue to pass on to my family.

So, this post is dedicated to my grandpa, along with my degree, my future career, and my ministry.  I hope I can continue to make him proud and be the example he was in our community, our church, our family and in my life.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan


It is Spring Time!  I am working on emptying out our fridge, freezer, and pantry to make room for the fresh foods of Spring and Summer ;)

Tuesday -- Chicken Enchiladas, Rice, and Corn
Wednesday -- Pork Stir Fry and Rice
Thursday -- Scallops, Herbed Pasta, and Salad
Friday -- Beef Rib Hoagies and Salad
Saturday -- Baked Pork Chops and White Cheddar Spinach Shells
Sunday -- Baked Fish and Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Monday -- Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 18-24)



Even though last week was a "short" week, I got a few things done ;)  Doug and I spent half of our Thursday helping his sister's family move, so I made sure to get some rest and relaxation over the weekend since it was Spring Break!


March Goals
1.  Fulfill my daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Review Greek Adjectival Participles
4.  Prepare (and work ahead) in my new class, Psalms -- Decided to rest ;)

Housework/Errands
5.  Laundry from PA trip
6.  Begin Spring Cleaning -- Still working on getting organized to clean!

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;)
8.  Watch Dial M for Murder -- Alas, I keep forgetting I have this movie to watch


This week not only marks the second half of this semester of Greek, but also begins my new (and FINAL) class, Psalms.  Not to mention the fact that Spring is on its way, bringing sunshine and warm weather!!!

March Goals
1.  Fulfill daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Adjectival and Perfect Participles
4.  Psalms Reading (~100 pages) and Quiz

Housework/Errands
5.  Begin Spring Cleaning!
6.  Menu Plan (and blog!)

Personal
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder
8.  Begin reading Great Expectations

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 14-17)


So, four days isn't exactly a week, but since I accomplished my March Goals of resting during Spring Break and enjoying our trip to see my family in PA earlier his week, I feel accomplished enough to just skip those days!!!

Anyways, here's last week's results:
March Goals
1.  Fulfill my "Daily Priorities" (eating Breakfast, earlier sleep, exercise)
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Aorist/Undefined Participles
4.  Finish DSMN class

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan, Grocery Shopping, and blog!
6.  Catch up Laundry/Packing for PA

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;) -- Called, but had to leave a message; hoping to book for next week!
8.  Have some Personal Time Daily

And my goals for this week:
March Goals
1.  Fulfill my daily priorities
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Review Greek Adjectival Participles
4.  Prepare (and work ahead) in my new class, Psalms

Housework/Errands
5.  Laundry from PA trip
6.  Begin Spring Cleaning

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;)
8.  Watch Dial M for Murder

Monday, March 4, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan

This week, my wonderful husband made our meal plan!

Tuesday -- Grilled Chicken w/Angel Hair Herbed Pasta
                  Broiled Salmon w/ Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Wednesday -- Pork Ribs w/ Baked Potatoes
                       Dinner Out ;)
Thursday -- Chicken Enchiladas w/ Spanish Rice
Friday -- Grilled Steak w/ Alfredo Pasta
Saturday -- Pork Stir Fry w/ Rice

Sun-Wed -- Travelling/in PA

Design: Weekly Goals (Mar 4-10)


After taking some time off due to sickness, I am back and ready to set some weekly goals!

March Goals
1.  Fulfill my "Daily Priorities" (eating Breakfast, earlier sleep, exercise)
2.  Read a Proverb a Day

School/Homework
3.  Greek Aorist/Undefined Participles
4.  Finish DSMN class

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan, Grocery Shopping, and blog!
6.  Catch up Laundry/Packing for PA

Personal
7.  Book a Massage ;)
8.  Have some Personal Time Daily

Friday, March 1, 2013

Design: March

March comes in like a lion!  In my case, that means abruptly!  Still, I am really hoping to make the most of this month ;)

2013 Winter Goals
1.  Eat Breakfast 5 days per week
2.  Continue stretching each morning, adding yoga moves/poses each week
3.  Make exercise a priority by having 45-60 minutes of activity per day
4.  To encourage an earlier bed time, institute a technology "black-out" each night at 11 PM
5.  Drink at least 8 cups of water per day

Other Goals
6.  Read Great Expectations and the Poems of Emily Dickinson
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder and It Happened One Night
8.  Enjoy our trip to PA
9.  Take advantage of Spring Break (i.e. Rest!)
10.  Read through Proverbs (one a day)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Document: February

I honestly cannot believe it is March.  March, as in the third month of the year, the beginning of Spring, and the season of mid-terms.  February seems like a blur (probably due to the two weeks I spent on DayQuil and NyQuil), but I'm sure I accomplished something.

2013 Winter Goals
After my improvements in January, I definitely took a step back this month.  Once again breakfast became a thing of the past, but I was able to eat Breakfast at least once per week, which is still a marked improvement from the beginning of the year.

The first two weeks of the month I did very well with my other goals (going to bed earlier and waking earlier, stretching and Yoga, and making it to the gym), however the "week of many appointments" became my downfall as the sickness took over.  Coughing and sputtering are not conducive to cardio at the gym, and sleep came at varied times for varied lengths.  Needless to say, I will be learning to take better care of myself using the "two steps forward, one step back" method.

Other Goals
I finally finished Jane Eyre!  I think every book has a "threshold" moment that draws you in, and once you cross it, the book instantly becomes irresistible.  I wasn't able to read through Dickinson's poems, but I did find a copy on my Nook to read in an upcoming month.  Likewise, Dial M for Murder has been sitting in its Netflix sleeve for the last two weeks!  I'm hoping I will finally get around to watching it this weekend.

I believe I have finished my Home Management Binder (as well as our Financial Binder), but there is still room to grow as we continue to use it.  Valentine's Day was really fun; it was one of my last "healthy" days for the month, so we were able to make the most of it.  Finally, Doug's birthday this past weekend was fairly successful even though I wasn't able to do all I had hoped.  Still, Doug said it was one of his favorite birthdays ever, so I'll score that as a win ;)

Moving Forward
For March, I will continue to find ways to take care of myself!  I really am hoping to tackle my eating habits, especially having breakfast in the morning.  Doug and I also have some time off school (Spring Break!), and we are planning on visiting my family in PA!  We haven't been able to drive up to PA for about a year, so this trip is really exciting and special for me.  Of course Spring Break means the end of one class and the beginning of another...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Drive

Drive (noun):  a person's will to achieve; gumption, moxie, spunk, vigor

For the last week (more like 8-9 days), I have been fighting the sickness and, therefore, unable to blog about my goals, my meal plans, or anything else!

Well, let's be honest.  For the first 4-5 days I couldn't post because I was fighting the sickness and cramming Greek Verbs into my head.  And then I was fighting the sickness and cleaning my house.  And then I was busy with Doug's birthday weekend (including a house-guest, gifts, reservations, and a mini-party).  Then, as the dust settled (and the coughing continued), I didn't want to get on here and write about menus and goals and plans.

"Whoa.  De didn't want to make lists and plan things?  De didn't want to write and share with others?  This is madness!"  Yes, even I sometimes get tired of my own natural inclination to list out my life.  But, nevertheless, here I am.  Writing a blog.  About my life.  Why?

Drive.  For me it's not that much about gathering readers/subscribers, or being funny/witty, or even having an outlet to share and plan and list things.  It's about following through.  I began a blog in order to work on slowing down my life.  In order to appreciate life to the fullest instead of zooming through it in an effort to succeed.  And to do that, I need to take time to write.  Even if it is a list I review to show myself that I did accomplish something despite slowing down.  Even if it is planning meals so that Doug and I can have "family dinners" during the week.  I do it because I said I would.  I do it because I want to enjoy my life, not "deal with" it.

So, this is me, near the end of February, still working to decelerate my life.  Still trying to find time to take care of myself and watch movies and read books and enjoy nature.  Still intentionally spending time with my friends and husband.  Still fighting the urge to take on a million tasks.

And I call this "drive."  Sometimes it doesn't need to look fast and flashy; sometimes it can be simple, quiet, and slow.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



This week has been a bit of a whirlwind for us; we ended up having some leftover meals from last week, AND we ate some meals we had been planning to eat this week!

Anyways, here is what we have left/planned for this week ;)

Monday:  Grilled Chicken Breasts w/ Cheesy Broccoli Rice
Tuesday:  Chicken Skillet Meal w/ Alfredo Pasta
                Pork Fajitas w/ Rice
Wednesday:  Valentine's Lunch Out ;)
                     Leftovers
Thursday:  Doug's Choice -- Shrimp, Scallops, and/or Steak
Friday:  Shrimp Skillet Meal w/Garlic and Oil Pasta
Saturday:  Chicken Enchiladas w/ Rice
Sunday:  Leftover Meal from Thursday

Since Doug works on Valentine's Day, we are "celebrating" on Wednesday (using some V-Day money from my wonderful parents); I still like to try to cook something special.  Doug loves surf and turf, so I always try to have some on hand to make special meals.  Orzo or baked potatoes make excellent sides, and a nice sauce gives it a restaurant feel. (I like making Spinach Cream Sauce.)

In order to have these "special" food on hand, I look for deals on frozen seafood throughout the year.  I like to stock up when our store has 25% of all seafood deals. For the steaks I always look in the Manager's Special section; I lucked out and found two small round steaks last week for $3.50 total!  Many times they have large packs on sale; those are easy to separate and freeze in portions for two ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Feb 10-16)



I can't believe it is already Valentine's Week!  February is one of those months that always seems to fly by too quickly, but I want to make sure I have something to show for the month and this week!

February Goals
1.  Add Yoga to my morning stretching routine
2.  Wake up each morning by 9 AM

School/Homework
3.  Learn Greek Perfect Verbs
4.  Complete Bible Lesson by Wednesday

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
6.  Clean out Linen Closet
7.  Clean up Laundry Area in our Bedroom

Personal
8.  Make it back to the Gym
9.  Enjoy Valentine's Day ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Determination: February Goals (Week 1)

I can't believe we are well into February; it still feels like January to me!  Here's what my weekly goals look like:


February Goals
1.  Add Yoga to my morning routine twice this week -- only once
2.  Wake up each morning by 9 AM -- I was slightly sick for a few days :(

School/Homework
3.  Study Greek Vocabulary and Verb Endings
4.  Complete both Bible Lessons by Saturday -- only one lesson

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan and Grocery Shopping (and Blog!)
6.  Clean and Organize the Bathroom and Linen Closet -- sickness foiled me again

Personal
7.  Make it to the Gym 4 times this week -- evil sickness
8.  Take one day off this week for personal time

As for my February Goals, I have made some progress!

I made progress in each of my Winter Goals (eating breakfast, exercising, get enough sleep and rest)

I am still reading Jane Eyre, but I am more than halfway through!  Dial M for Murder came this week, and I am excited to watch it this week.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



Another week, another meal plan!  This week I'm shopping for the next two weeks, so we'll have a lot of fresh food (and some simple meals) this week ;)

Monday:  Cheesy Enchilada Hamburger Helper (yes, still...lol)
Tuesday:  Chicken and Spinach Pasta
                Tuna Melts and Soup
Wednesday:  Doug's Surprise Beefy Lunch
                     Take Out ;)
Thursday:  Frozen Pizza
Friday:  Grilled Chicken Breasts w/ Cheesy Broccoli Rice
Saturday:  Taco Pie Bake w/ Rice and Salad
Sunday:  Breaded Pork w/ Potatoes and Green Beans

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Feb 3-9)


February has just begun and I already feel behind!  That's the joy of a short, but busy month ;)

February Goals
1.  Add Yoga to my morning routine twice this week
2.  Wake up each morning by 9 AM

School/Homework
3.  Study Greek Vocabulary and Verb Endings
4.  Complete both Bible Lessons by Saturday

Housework/Errands
5.  Menu Plan and Grocery Shopping (and Blog!)
6.  Clean and Organize the Bathroom and Linen Closet

Personal
7.  Make it to the Gym 4 times this week
8.  Take one day off this week for personal time

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Determination: January Goals (Week 5)

It's February!

I just can't believe that 1/12 of the year is completed.  I did pretty well completing my goals for January, and I'm really excited to begin working towards completing February's goals in an effort to continue taking care of myself so that I can care for my family, home, and schoolwork.

Here's how I did this week:

January Goals
1.  Keep from getting sick!
2.  Read Jane Eyre (100-150 pages) -- Only about 80 pages this week :(

School/Homework
3.  Greek -- Aorist Verbs
4.  Finish all DSMN Assignments by Tuesday! -- They were completed by Friday
5.  Work ahead to complete the first Bible Lesson by Saturday -- I decided to work ahead on housework instead of schoolwork this week ;)

Housework/Errands
6.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
7.  Sort Paperwork (prep for Taxes)
8.  Have all Laundry completed (washed, dried, folded, stowed) by Saturday -- In progress; about half of the laundry is complete ;)

Personal
9.  Make it to the Gym 4 times this week
10.  Take a day off to relax ;)

On Monday afternoon, I found myself completed stressed out!  Doug and I prioritized and discovered that the majority of my stress stemmed from our Paperwork not being sorted, filed, shredded, etc.  We spent all day Tuesday gathering, sorting, filing, and shredding all of our paperwork (including emptying out our file box   to keep only the documents necessary).  On top of all that, I reorganized some of our paperwork into a Home Management Binder and a Finance Binder, and we created a Mail/Control Center.

Not only has this week been less stressful due to having this organized catch-all paperwork center, it has been such a benefit to help me in cleaning this week!

You can read more about how January Goals turned out here, and learn about my plans for February in this post!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Design: February Goals

February always seems to be the busiest month of the year for me, so I wanted to be sure to pick reasonable, achievable goals for this month.

Here are my goals!
2013 Winter Goals
1.  Eat Breakfast 5 times each week
2.  Add Yoga to my morning stretching routine
3.  Make it to the Gym 3 times per week
4.  Go to bed by 11 PM and get up at 9 AM daily
5.  Take one day off each week for personal time

Other Goals
6.  Finish Jane Eyre; read through the Poems of Emily Dickinson
7.  Watch Dial M for Murder
8.  Finish Home Management Binder
9.  Enjoy Valentine's Day
10.  Help to make Doug's Birthday really special ;)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Document: January

One month down, eleven to go! ;)

Part of me cannot believe that only a month as passed this year, but so much happened this month!

2013 Winter Goals
This month, I really wanted to focus on beginning each day with healthy habits, like eating breakfast and stretching/doing yoga.  While I didn't reach my goals of eating breakfast 5 days each week, I did average just over 3 days per week, which is a big improvement.  Stretching each morning has become a habit, and I think that has really helped me get started each day.

I also wanted to begin exercising more regularly; I was able to work out most days each week, even though I didn't make t to the gym every day.  I also worked to take care of myself so that I wouldn't get sick, including taking a relaxing detox bath.  I feel like I did a really great job taking care of myself, and as a result, a better job at taking care of my responsibilities.

Other Goals
As far as my entertainment goals go, I haven't finished Jane Eyre yet, but I am making progress in reading it.  I watched Strangers on a Train this month, which was such a great movie!  Any movie by Hitchcock is worth watching once, and this classic filled with murder, revenge, and blackmail did not disappoint.  

I also made a Spring Schedule, and for the most part I have stuck to it!  I have found that I often don't have a realistic idea of how long things will take which has made following my schedule a bit difficult.  Celebrating my birthday and our trip to Florida also put a kink in my "normal" schedule, but I think I have had enough time to get back on schedule ;)

For February, I am hoping to keep working to develop habits to help me take care of myself, as well as get a bit more culture through reading classic and watching classics!  Even though February is short, we have a lot going on!  We have most of our "annual" doctor appointments this month, Valentine's Day, and (most importantly) Doug's Birthday!!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



This week, Doug and I are cooking up quick and filling meals!  We had a few leftover from last week, as well as a few repeats that were extra tasty ;)

Tuesday:  Chicken Quesadillas w/ Fajita Rice
                Beef Roast w/ Onions, Peppers, and Potatoes
Wednesday:  Pork Stir Fry w/ Rice
                     Eat Out (Date Night)
Thursday:  Soup and Sandwiches
Friday:  Grilled Steak w/ Potatoes and Zucchini
Saturday:  Buffalo Chicken Pasta w/ Spinach
Sunday:  Enchilada Hamburger Helper
Monday:  Breaded Pork and Potatoes

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Jan 27-Feb 2)



It's almost February!  I honestly cannot believe that it is the end of January; I feel about two weeks behind!

Well, while it's still January, I have a lot of things I hope to accomplish!

January Goals
1.  Keep from getting sick!
2.  Read Jane Eyre (100-150 pages)

School/Homework
3.  Greek -- Aorist Verbs
4.  Finish all DSMN Assignments by Tuesday!
5.  Work ahead to complete the first Bible Lesson by Saturday

Housework/Errands
6.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
7.  Sort Paperwork (prep for Taxes)
8.  Have all Laundry completed (washed, dryed, folded, stowed) by Saturday

Personal
9.  Make it to the Gym 4 times this week
10.  Take a day off to relax ;)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Determination: January Goals (Week 4)

This week has felt  s o o o   l  o  n  g . . . . .

So making it to the end of the week feel like its own victory! ;)  Now that Doug and I are back in the full swing of things, it has been easier to think through my goals each day and really be intentional about completing them...most of the time!!!

Here's how my Weekly Goals turned out:

January Goals
1.  Take a Detox Bath
2.  Read 100 pages of Jane Eyre -- I've been falling asleep too early to read as much as I normally do
3.  Watch Strangers on a Train

School/Homework
4.  Catch up in Greek and be through Ch 23 by Friday -- I am caught up with all assignments
5.  Complete all DSMN reading by Tuesday
6.  Turn in all DSMN assignments by Friday -- I have to reply to others' essays

Housework/Errands
7.  Menu Plan/Grocery Shopping (and blog!)
8.  "Deep Clean" the Living Room and Bathroom -- I didn't get as "deep" as I wanted...yet
9.  Catch up on laundry (from vacation)

Personal
10.  Make it to the gym each day before Greek -- This has been a rough week gym-wise
11.  Blog about our trip to FL ;) -- Soon ;)

I have made a lot of progress on my Monthly Goals!  I only have a week left in January, but I have already achieved most of my goals, and have made progress on the others.

-- I ate breakfast 3 times this week.

-- I stretched each morning this week

-- I went to the gym twice; my older athletic shoes began to hurt my ankle, so I had to wait for my new ones to come in the mail to go again.

-- I took a detox bath yesterday using this recipe.

-- I am still not sick, but I have a bit of a sore throat today :(

-- I am reading Jane Eyre, but it is coming along slowly, as I have only been reading once or twice a week, much less than normal.

-- I watched Strangers on a Train last night; it was intriguing, captivating, and creepy all at once.

-- I have been following my Spring Schedule for the most part ;)

-- I enjoyed my birthday and our trip to Florida.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



It's that time again ;)

Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken w/ Rice and Cheddar Broccoli
               Broiled Salmon w/ Alfredo and Spinach

Wednesday:  Pork Stir-Fry w/ Chicken Fried Rice
                     Beef Roast w/ Potatoes, Onions, and Peppers

Thursday:  Buffalo Chicken Pasta w/ Spinach

Friday:  Breaded Pork and Potatoes

Saturday:  Chicken Quesadillas w/ Fajita Rice

Sunday:  Hamburger Helper

Monday:  Grilled Steak and Potatoes w/ Roasted Veggies

I read a very interesting blog post earlier today that suggested not assigning meals to days, but simply planning enough meals for the week and choosing what works for each day.  While I often rearrange my menu plan days, I thought it was really intriguing!

As you know, I normally plan two weeks at a time; I decided to plan all "real" meals for this week and then buy some "quick fix" meals on the side (enough to last about another week) like spaghetti, at-home pizza, and soup!  This means I can mix and match as needed for the next two weeks, or go shopping next week for the few items we need.

For more meal plan ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday through orgjunkie's link above ;)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Jan 20-26)


Even though last week officially began the Spring Semester/Season for me, this is my first "real" week back in the swing of things after Break!!!

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish this week:

January Goals
1.  Take a Detox Bath
2.  Read 100 pages of Jane Eyre
3.  Watch Strangers on a Train

School/Homework
4.  Catch up in Greek and be through Ch 23 by Friday
5.  Complete all DSMN reading by Tuesday
6.  Turn in all DSMN assignments by Friday

Housework/Errands
7.  Menu Plan/Grocery Shopping (and blog!)
8.  "Deep Clean" the Living Room and Bathroom
9.  Catch up on laundry (from vacation)

Personal
10.  Make it to the gym each day before Greek
11.  Blog about our trip to FL ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Determination: January Goals (Week 3)

Well, school has officially started and we traveled to and from Florida this week!  I can't believe how much happened this week, but I'm glad that 1) I only have one semester left in my Masters' program and 2) we were able to visit friends and family in Florida!!!

Even though we were busy, I still tried to complete my weekly goals:

January Goals
1.  Enjoy our trip to Florida ;)
2.  Read 150 pages of Jane Eyre -- Waaaay behind on reading!

School/Homework
3.  Complete all Greek Review by Friday
4.  Complete all DSMN Reading by Saturday -- Did I mention I was behind on reading?
5.  Turn in all assignments by Saturday -- Tomorrow ;)

Housework/Errands
6.  Menu Plan and Make Grocery List for return from FL (and blog!)
7.  Clean and Pack before trip!

Personal
8.  Make it to the gym every day this week (that we are at home, lol)
9.  Be out in the FL sunshine!

And my monthly goals have progressed as well:

-- I ate breakfast four times this week

-- I stretched five mornings this week (and got on a plane the other two!)

-- I went to the gym once and walked around in Florida quite a bit

-- I am getting ready to take my detox bath this upcoming week

-- I am still not sick despite some fatigue and a fever one night early this week

-- I have started Jane Eyre, but didn't have much time to read this week

-- I finally got Strangers on a Train from Netflix and will watch it this week

-- I am still working to apply my Spring Schedule now that our trip is over

-- Just as I enjoyed my birthday, I really enjoyed our trip to Florida!

January is more than halfway complete, and I feel really great about how I have changed my focus and goals for this year and this month.  I am so looking forward to getting back to a "normal" schedule with classes and other responsibilities.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan



This week, I do't have to plan for much, because we will be flying down to Florida TOMORROW!  Yea!  Since I won't be cooking very much this week, I am making sure to plan for meals when we return, so I don't have to run to the store or resort to take-out ;)

Monday --  Cheesy Enchilada Hamburger Helper (leftover from last week)
                   Soup and Sandwiches
Tuesday-Thursday -- FLORIDA!!!
Friday --  Grilled Chicken (using this seasoning blend) w/ White Cheddar Shells (also leftover)
Saturday --  Slow Cooker Pepper and Onion Beef Roast w/ Fajita Rice
Sunday --  Breaded Pork, Broiled Potatoes, and Cheddar Broccoli

I also wanted to share how I cook my Pepper and Onion Beef Roast!

Ingredients:
3-4 lb Beef Roast (shoulder, pot roast, whatever suits you)
1 packet Pot Roast Seasoning (or whatever spices you like! I often use Meatloaf or Onion Soup Mix.)
1/2 c water
1 package frozen onion and pepper blend

Directions
1.  Place roast in the slow cooker; dump seasoning over roast and rub into the top and sides
2.  Add water to slow cooker; cover and set on low for 5 hours
3.  Using tongs, flip roast over.  Add frozen onion and pepper mix over the roast.  Continue cooking on low for one hour.
4.  Serve sliced or shredded!

My husband likes slices piece to put on sandwiches, but I like it shredded on tortilla shells.  Use it whichever way works for you!

For more Menu Plans, click the link above to go to orgjunkie's site!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Jan 13-19)



Here are my goals for the week!

January Goals
1.  Enjoy our trip to Florida ;)
2.  Read 150 pages of Jane Eyre

School/Homework
3.  Complete all Greek Review by Friday
4.  Complete all DSMN Reading by Saturday
5.  Turn in all assignments by Saturday

Housework/Errands
6.  Menu Plan and Make Grocery List for return from FL (and blog!)
7.  Clean and Pack before trip!

Personal
8.  Make it to the gym every day this week (that we are at home, lol)
9.  Be out in the FL sunshine!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Determination: January Goals (Week 2)

I can't believe we are only two weeks into a New Year!  This last week has been so busy with celebrating my birthday, running errands, getting ready for classes to begin (on Monday!), and prepping for our trip to Florida.  With what seemed like a million little things to do, I think I accomplished quite a bit this week.

Here's what my weekly goals look like:

January Goals for this Week
1.  Begin reading Jane Eyre -- Today. Really, I promise.
2.  Make Spring Schedule

School/Homework
3.  Order textbooks for my FINAL semester
4.  E-mail professors about being in FL during the first week of classes
5.  Create eight week To Do List for projects/homework

Housework/Errands
6.  Drop off my old laptop to Geek Squad; pick up new Microsoft Office
7.  Menu Plan (and blog!) -- plus I linked up to Menu Plan Monday for the first time ;)
8. Catch up on cleaning and laundry before leaving for FL

Personal
9.  Check out workout/gym options for Doug and I (while all the January sales are going on) -- plus we signed up for gym memberships
10.  Get hair cut and colored (appointment Jan 10)

As for my January Goals:
-- I ate breakfast four times this week (yea for progress!)

-- I stretched each morning this week

-- I was active this week by running errands, joining a gym (on Wednesday), and going to the gym twice

-- I almost took my relaxing bath this week, but decided to wait until the end of the month (when I'll really need it!!!)

-- I am still not sick!!!  I think I am on the verge of sickness, so I am going to make sure to get the rest and vitamins I need to make it until we get to Florida! (I am convinced that all that vitamin D from soaking up the sun will keep me healthy through he rest of cold/flu season.)

-- I am beginning to read Jane Eyre (today)

-- I am waiting for the arrival of Strangers on a Train

-- I have completed my Spring Schedule, but am still working on applying it ;)

-- I enjoyed my birthday immensely! (Red Lobster, presents, and a Pretty Little Liars marathon makes any birthday special.)

-- I am planning to enjoy our trip to Florida in just a few days!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Design: Weekly Goals (Jan 8-12)

Well, just a few days into this month, and I find myself semi-paralyzed without a Weekly To Do List!!!  I really believed that it had become a list of homework and a hindrance to me, but I definitely feel lost without it.  I am viewing this realization as a learning experience and part of learning to take care of myself.

Anyways!  Here are my goals for this week (and you can see my progress for the year here):

January Goals for this Week
1.  Begin reading Jane Eyre
2.  Make Spring Schedule

School/Homework
3.  Order textbooks for my FINAL semester
4.  E-mail professors about being in FL during the first week of classes
5.  Create eight week To Do List for projects/homework

Housework/Errands
6.  Drop off my old laptop to Geek Squad; pick up new Microsoft Office
7.  Menu Plan (and blog!)
8. Catch up on cleaning and laundry before leaving for FL

Personal
9.  Check out workout/gym options for Doug and I (while all the January sales are going on)
10.  Get hair cut and colored (appointment Jan 10)

Some of them are already complete, but I like seeing what I accomplished this week ;)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Delicious: Weekly Meal Plan


First, let me just say... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

I love my birthday, and I love eating my favorite foods for my birthday week ;)  After planning for 16 days after Christmas, Doug and I just ate whichever meals we wanted from the list!  This week, I'm hoping to stick a bit closer to the menu (since we only have a handful of meals leftover!)

Monday -- Steamed Shrimp w/ Cheddar Broccoli Rice
Tuesday -- Eat Out for my Birthday!!!
Wednesday -- Sliced Steak and Spinach Alfredo
                       Grilled Chicken w/ White Cheddar Shells
Thursday -- Cheesy Enchilada Hamburger Helper
Friday -- Breaded Pork w/ Baked Potatoes
Saturday -- Soup and Sandwiches
Sunday -- Buffalo Chicken, Cheddar, and Spinach Pasta
Monday -- Grilled Chicken w/ Rice

This is also my first time linking up to Menu Plan Monday at orgjunkie.com!  Click the picture above to check it out!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Determination: January Goals (Week 1)

This week was a bit crazy, but really great!  Even though Doug had to work New Years' Eve (resulting in the fact that Doug and I have still never been able to be together to ring in the New Year at midnight), we had a lot of fun New Years' Day with his cousin Beverly and her son Jacob.  Doug did a Fish Fry for us, we played with Legos and on the Wii, and we went to see Monsters, Inc in 3D!!!  It was a really fun way to start 2013 ;)

As much fun as this was, Doug and I have also been fighting "the sickness" quite a bit this week.  I have had a weird cough for the last few days, and Doug has been very fatigued and achy, but I refuse to give in to sickness...yet!

Despite the fun and the fighting, I feel like I was able to make a dent in this month's goals!
-- I progressed by eating breakfast a few times this week, which is much better ;)

-- I succeeded in stretching six days this week! Yea!

-- I progressed to get my exercise times in this week by being up and moving much more than the last few weeks (and we are checking out a gym with great hours next week).

-- I progressed in getting set up for a detox bath by buying some Epsom salts ;)

-- I succeeded thus far in not getting sick!  I am hoping the extra orange juice and healthy food options in the house will help keep us healthy; in addition, I set up several "annual" doctor and dentist appointments for Doug and I, so hopefully the input will help keep us healthy this year!

-- I progressed in reading a classic book by choosing to read Jane Eyre first.

-- I progressed in watching a classic movie by putting Strangers on a Train next in our Netflix Queue.

-- I am working on a Spring Schedule, which should be ready by Monday.

-- I am planning to enjoy my birthday a lot on Monday ;)

-- Likewise, I am planning to enjoy our trip to Florida in just over a week!

Even though I can't cross any goal off my list for the month, this year is not about the lists!!!  I am really learning to enjoy and focus on the progression and growth of life instead of viewing my life as tasks to complete or fail to finish.

(But if I was keeping a list, I think I could cross off "being content with my progression" for this week!!!)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Design: January Goals

It's a New Year!  Here are some goals I have for myself this month:

2013 Part 1 Goals
1.  Eat Breakfast 5 days per week
2.  Stretch/Do Yoga 5 mornings per week
3.  Exercise for 30-45 min 3 days per week
4.  Take a Detox/Relaxing Bath this month
5.  Don't Get Sick!

Other Goals
6.  Read a Classic Book
7.  Watch a Classic Movie
8.  Make a Spring Schedule (and stick to it!)
9.  Enjoy my Birthday!!!
10.  Enjoy our trip to FL!

De and Doug's Den: Reading Goals and More

For this year's reading goals, I want to focus more on quality than quantity of books I read.  This year's goal is to read 12 classic books that I haven't read!!!

I have a tendency to read the same book repeatedly (since I'm no a big fan of surprises), so there are several classics I haven't read even though I am familiar with the general storylines.  I also wanted to pick a wide range of books from different time periods.

Anyways, I put together a list of twelve varied classics I want to read this year, hopefully completing one each month:

-- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
-- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
-- Anna Karenina
-- Arabian Nights
-- The Catcher in the Rye
-- Great Expectations
-- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
-- Jane Eyre
-- The Last of the Mohicans
-- Mere Christianity
-- The Poems of Emily Dickinson
-- The Three Musketeers

Since I am focusing on only twelve books this year (though I'm sure I'll read more), I decided add a goal to watch 12 classic movies as well.  Most of these I haven't seen (or only saw parts of them); here's my list:

-- An Affair to Remember
-- Casablanca
-- Dial M for Murder
-- The Godfather Trilogy
-- It Happened One Night
-- Kiss Me Kate
-- The Maltese Falcon
-- Mary Poppins
-- The Postman Always Rings Twice
-- Pretty in Pink
-- Strangers on a Train
-- Vertigo

Here's to quality entertainment this year!

Determination: Goals for 2013

So, I have spent the last few weeks thinking about how to plan goals for 2013.  There were so many options that I felt I really needed to look at what I wanted for my life and where I wanted my life to go.

In the end, I thought about this blog and the goal I have for my life:  slowing down so that I can give my friends and family the focus and time they deserve.  Slowing down so that I can take care of myself and be healthy.  Slowing down so that I can grow and develop into a better person.  Slowing down so that my life is a "real" life, not a string of "to do lists" and projects.

So, I'm splitting 2013 into four parts based on why I wanted to decelerate my life.

January-March (Winter): To take care of myself and be healthy.
These three months I will be focusing on taking care of myself!  I have such a tendency to take care of school or the house before me, but I have realized over the last few years that when I take care of myself (by eating regularly and healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and having personal time), I am better prepared to take care of my schoolwork, my "chores," and my relationships.

April-June (Spring):  To give my friends and family the focus and time they deserve.
I think this is pretty self explanatory, but I really do want to take my relationships to the "next level" by being a good friend, wife, daughter, sister, etc.  I love my friends and family, but unfortunately I haven't been able to maintain those relationships the way they should be.  No (wo)man is an island, and friends and family are so important to life, growth, and well-being.

July-September (Summer):  To grow and develop into a better person.
For me, this is about doing things that will stretch and challenge me.  Without school, I want to be intentional about continuing to learn and grow on my own.  I'm not sure what this will look like yet, but some possibilities I have considered are training to run a 5K, learning a new language, picking up piano again, beginning work on a book/Bible study, or opening a bakery/cupcake shop.  I may do all of these, some of these, or none of these, but I do want to spend time doing something that will push me forward.

October-December (Fall):  To have a "real" life, not a string of projects
To me, a real life is one that affects others.  For me, I really want to find a way I can begin affecting or serving my community.  Again, I'm not sure what this looks like, But I know I want to be involved in a Church and be a part of some kind of community service.  While this is something I am hoping to do all year (and for my entire life), I want to use the holidays to really focus on community and service.

One of the things I love about these goals is that none of them are things I can "just do" and check off a list.  These are goals that will really challenge me in every area of my life and help to shape my life to be well-rounded and holistic.  Even though I know there will be other "checklist style" goals this year (like my reading goals), I am excited to go out of the box ;)

What are your goals for 2013?