I’ve been trying out meal planning — I’ve been meaning to forever, but it seemed so overwhelming. I wasn’t sure if I had to plan all the meals out, if I should just plan to buy basic things and then make up recipes to use them up, or if I should find recipes and then buy the ingredients for those. I finally settled on buying one or two basic things for breakfasts (healthy cereals, sugar free oatmeal packets, whole milk yogurts) and lunches (cheeses, deli meats, guacamole, hummus, guacamole, peanut butter and jelly) and then lots of eggs and one or two each of fresh fruits and veggies (not too many, because I hate wasting fresh produce!). For dinners, I choose a fish recipe, a chicken recipe, a beef recipe and a vegetarian recipe online and get the ingredients for all of them, plus frozen steam-in-bag veggies for sides. This seems to last us about a week to a week and a half with leftovers and eating out and breakfast for dinner nights mixed in.
Three recipes that stood out this week:
These Guacamole Deviled Eggs are a slightly healthier yet just as delicious version of the classic (although I will never give up the real ones).
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Cinnamon Butternut Squash, Pecans and Cranberries — a grouping made in Autumn heaven! This was a very simple recipe but it gave me new ideas — like putting cinnamon on butternut squash or adding a splash of maple syrup to salty brussels sprouts.
The kids loved these Gluten Free Blueberry Breakfast Oat Bars, and that alone is enough to make me love them! There is no refined sugar in these, which I love (just a touch of maple syrup and the sweetness from ripe bananas and the blueberries), and no wheat (I’m trying to eat less wheat and dairy and concentrate on healthier, heartier ingredients), but they were still delicious.
STRANGER THINGS, YOU GUYS. STRANGER THINGS!!! Steve and I just finished the second season and I am just…. I have no words. It was so good. I can’t get over how amazingly talented these young actors are. Like, I want to interview (grill) their parents to see how they created such preternaturally mature and emotionally intelligent kids! I’m such a mom because I was half squealing about how cute they were and half feeling proud of them and half hiding my eyes behinds my hands because this season was seriously scary (three halves — I know). I might even watch it again (I never watch anything again).
Julia Marcum (Chris Loves Julia) discussed ways to grow your Instagram following organically and honestly this week on her podcast. The tips were amazing (I was definitely taking notes!), but then she took it a step further and called for submissions of home design-centric Instagram accounts with less than 10,000 followers to highlight in a post — both to boost their followers and to help others discover great design accounts. What a great and generous idea! All of the accounts she posted about were quality — check them out here! (Photo from @courtneynye.)