Monday, March 30, 2015

Menu Plan Monday, March 30 to April 5

We are back from vacation and I have gained weight!  However, I am not the only one in my family with this problem.  So this week the whole family is joining me on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  Here's what I have planned for this week:

Links to recipes are in red.

Breakfast - cereal (E)
Lunch - chicken fajitas (S)
Snack - apples and caramel (E)
Dinner - eating out

Breakfast - cereal (E)
Lunch - pork chops and cabbage (S)
Dinner - eating out

Breakfast - Berry Oat Breakfast Cake (E)
Snack - yogurt and berries (FP)
Snack - pineapple (E)

Breakfast - turkey bacon, eggs, strawberries (S)
Lunch - chef salad (S)
Snack - beef jerky stick, almonds (S)
Dinner - roast (S)
Snack - sugar free fudge pops 

Breakfast - Berry Oat Breakfast Cake (E)
Lunch - chili dogs (S)
Snack - greek yogurt with berries
Snack - low carb ice cream (S)

Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - sandwiches, apple sauce, grapes
Snack - beef jerky sticks, almonds
Dinner - crockpot parmesan chicken
Snack - jello

Breakfast - scrambled eggs, sausage
Lunch - at my grandmother's house

Friday, March 13, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Easy Pulled Pork Barbecue and Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce.

I chose this Easy Pulled Pork Barbecue recipe as this week's Throwback Thursday post because I once again found Boston Butt pork roasts on sale this week so I thought it would be a perfect recipe to revisit.  This recipe was originally posted on January 20, 2011 and can be found here.  When I was looking over it I realized that I used bottled barbecue sauce for this recipe and also wanted to include my Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce recipe that I posted here on October 18, 2009 that would be perfect with this recipe.  I use this barbecue sauce on everything!

The night before we cooked the pork roast my husband deboned it for me, and trimmed the fat off.  When we deboned it, it really created two seperate roasts.  After deboning it we rubbed it down with my homemade rub.The rub is made by mixing together:

1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt

After rubbing down the meat we placed it in a large bowl, covered it in saran wrap and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

The next morning I put the pork roast in my broaster oven (this can be done in your regular oven as well) at 350 degrees.  I cooked the roast for three hours, and at that point the meat was just falling apart. 

After removing the meat from the broaster I pulled it apart into small pieces.

Next I put the pulled meat into the crockpot and mixed in barbecue sauce.  Normally I would make my own barbecue sauce, but this time I used store bough since I have about twelve bottles of barbecue sauce sitting around that I bought last summer for just 29 cents each.  I ended up using two bottles of sauce.

Since I wasn't sure how long it would take the meat to cook, I had started cooking it early in the day, and it cooked a lot quicker than I had expected it to.  Since we still had quite a bit of time to go before dinner, I kept the meat in the crockpot on low for about four more hours. 

Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce


1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.

2. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat, cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What I Wore Wednesday, March 11

This past week has still been a cold and snowy week so dressing warm and boots were a priority when getting dressed this week.  Thank goodness the sun is out today and warm weather is headed our way.  Plus, it won't be much longer before we are leaving this crazy Indiana weather for a vacation in the Florida sun!

Here is what I wore this week:

Friday - shopping and running errands

Sweater Dress - Mossimo (here)
Leggings - Target
Necklace - Meijer
Boots - Just Fab (here)

Saturday - class and taking the kids to the Rock and Worship Roadshow

Tunic - Kohls
Cardigan - old from Target
Necklace - Sears

Sunday - church
I only had three hours sleep from the concert the night before and the time change so I was going for comfy

Skirt - old
Top - Meijer
Scarf - Aeropostale
shoes - old

I do have one question for you before you go - can we be Facebook friends?  If you do like my page let me know and I will follow your Facebook page as well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Deciding Whether Or Not to Homeschool Year Round

Homeschooling comes with the benefit of being flexible.  You get to decide what to study, you get to decide how to do it, you can decide to have class outside on a sunny day, and you get to decide when to have school.  Yes, there are some legal restraints depending on where you live, for us we must have 180 days of school, but beyond that you get to do what you want in your homeschool.

When we first started homeschooling we were so in love with learning we chose to homeschool year round.  Then we decided to join a co-op which followed a traditional school year schedule so we stopped homeschooling over the summer.  For us the co-op environment and traditional school year gave way to more stress than our previous relaxed schedule had given.  

My husband has health issues so the year round schedule allowed for us to be flexible and take time off as we needed.  We also had more flexibility to take off for vacation during non-peak times.  Or we could take off because it was the first sunny day of spring.  During those year round school days we always took off from Thanksgiving until the first full week after New Years Day.  Those things were impossible when we followed the traditional school year schedule because it wasn't possible to get in 180 days that way.

So this summer we went back to year round schooling.  Everything was going great until the neighbor boy told Little Man it was weird that he had school during the summer.  Little Man is at that age where he worries what others think, so everyday when it was time to do school he would complain and I spent the summer fighting with him.

As spring is right around the corner I am counting our days and it is obvious we will have to go into summer to get in all of our required 180 days.  I am debating what we are going to do.  Should we just get in our required days or continue with our year round school schedule?

For me the benefits of year round schooling are this:
  • The ability to take off days as needed during the school year without the stress of worrying about getting in those required days.
  • Shorter breaks during the year allow for the kids to not lose reading, math, or language arts skills that are sometimes lost over the long summer break.  This also cuts down on review time that is needed at the beginning of the traditional school year because skills stay fresh.
  • After a summer break it takes a long time to get back into the habit of homeschooling, with schooling year round everyone stays in the groove of schooling.
  • I have found that we experience less burnout, as we get to take time off more often than with the traditional school year schedule.
  • You have a longer time period to complete curriculum.  You no longer have to stress about completing a curriculum by the end of the school year because the school year is continuous.  As you complete one curriculum you just move into the next.
  • We tend to complete more than just the 180 required days when we homeschool year round.

I do have one question for you before you go - can we be Facebook friends?  If you do like my page let me know and I will follow your Facebook page as well.

Menu Plan Monday - A Day Late

With planning for our upcoming vacation, studying for midterms, and just keeping up with daily life in general I am running behind.  This isn't the first time I have been late posting my menu plan and I am pretty sure it won't be the last.  This week is all about simplicity and using what I have on hand for meals.

Here is what I have planned for this week:

Breakfast - cinnamon rolls for kids, volcano mud slide muffin for me
Lunch - sandwiches and chips
Dinner - eating out

Breakfast - oatmeal
Lunch - tex-mex chicken quesadilla (new recipe)

Breakfast - sausage, fried eggs
Lunch - sandwiches
Dinner - apple bbq pork chops (new recipe) , mashed potatoes, baked beans

Lunch - eating out
Dinner - chicken pepper pasta bake (new recipe)

Lunch - chili cheese dogs, baked beans
Dinner - annas amazing easy pleasy meatballs over buttered noodles adjust the serving size if you use this recipe

I do have one question for you before you go - can we be Facebook friends?  If you do like my page let me know and I will follow your Facebook page as well.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Chili Con Queso

We are currently snowed in.  When we are snowed in I tend to snack a lot more than normal, so for this week's Throwback Thursday post I thought I would share one of my favorite snack foods, Chili Con Queso.  This recipe was originally posted to the blog on 
January 12, 2010 and the original post can be found here.


Block of Velveeta Cheese
Jar of Salsa
1 pound of ground beef, browned

1. Cut the block of Velveeta up into cubes, and place the cubes in the
bottom of the crockpot.

2. Add in the jar of salsa and the ground beef.

3. Stir to mix the ingredients together.
4. Cook on low for two to four hours. Stirring if
needed to keep the cheese from burning. 

5. Serve with tortilla chips.

What I Wore Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I have spent the last year on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, and have had a very successful weight loss.  With twenty-five pounds lost, and four pant sizes.  Unfortunately, over the past few months I have been sick and I have seen some of the weight come back.  It is frustrating, makes getting dressed miserable, and is depressing when I see the weight gain in pictures.  That being said, I am learning to be content with my body no matter what size it is, and know that once I get my health back under control I can once again continue on my weight loss journey to a healthier size.  

On top of the weight gain, we have spent the past couple of weeks in the middle of back to back snow storms, and arctic cold temperatures.  So staying warm is the main goal when getting dressed.  Here is what I wore this week.

Black Cashmere Sweater - Apt. 9 at Kohls
Scarf - ??? 
Shoes - Macy's

Sweater - Liz Lange for Target (similar here)
Leggings - Target
Boots - Just Fab (here)

Dress - Sam's Club
Sweater - Old ???
Necklace - Candies
Shoes - stolen from my daughter's closet