Monthly Archives: June 2012

Guess What We Did Yesterday…

More importantly, guess what my husband did yesterday! Check it out:

That’s my husband Mike front and center (in the blue shirt) at the New York Stock Exchange, ringing the closing bell to celebrate Foot Locker Inc’s 100th year of trading. No big deal.

(OMGSOFREAKINGAWESOME!!!!!!!!!)

While he was doing that, the kids and I engaged in our own shenanigans. We window shopped at the Lego Store, ate from a Halal cart, rode subway trains galore, hunted for dinosaurs and whales at the American Museum of Natural History, and hit up Toys R Us & the Disney Store in Times Square.

Oh hi there, polar bear! The Hall of Ocean Life at AMNH might just be my children’s new favorite place on the face of the earth.

Once Mike was done, we caught up with him to eat dinner at Junior’s and then headed over to the High Line, a 1.5 mile long elevated park built on an old freight rail line. How I’ve never heard of the High Line before, I’ll never know, but one thing I do know is we’ll be back there every time we go into the city. If you’re ever in NYC, be sure to check it out and take a beautiful little urban hike.

Sunset view from the High Line.

We had such a fun time and managed to keep our day trip mostly frugal: total travel, food and purchase costs were under $150 (half of which was our dinner splurge rolleyes). As a family we don’t go away on “big” vacations  (although we do try to visit Cape Cod for a few days in the off-season), but that allows us to fit smaller “staycation” outings like this one into our budget. Also, we’re lucky to live in an area with so much to offer, such as trips to NYC, the beach, camping, etc. There’s something really cool and fun about taking the time to discover what your own backyard has to offer.

Do you “staycation”? If so, what are some of your favorite local things to do for fun in lieu of going away on vacation? Share with us in the comments section below!

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Monday Menu Plan: 6/25-7/1

Confession: I’m really bad at grilling.

Honestly, I’ve always avoided using the grill, designating those summer evenings of tasty charred meals to nights when my husband is available to man the station. I’m not sure why, but the grill has always intimidated me. Maybe it’s because I’ve pretty much burned  to oblivion everything I’ve ever grilled.

Regardless of my hang-ups, this week I’m instituting a change in my mentality. You’ll notice a grill-heavy menu, which I will be cooking ALL. BY. MYSELF. (Note to my husband, since I know you’re reading this Mike: If I ask you to take over, say NO).

I need to get over this redonkulous fear of the grill, and reclaim the mighty art of grilling from all those manly-men I’ve relied on all these years to produce my perfectly fire-singed morsels of delight. I mean seriously, if I can kick ass in the kitchen, I can certainly do alright cooking outdoors.

And just in case, I’ll have the eight closest chinese takeout restaurants on speed dial. No joke.

Do you cook on the grill? If you do, what’s your favorite grilled meal to make? Share with us in the comments section below!

On a side note, we’ll be going into the city on Tuesday because my husband is attending the New York Stock Exchange closing bell ceremony. He’ll be there to celebrate Foot Locker Inc’s 100th year of trading on the NYSE. How awesome/exciting/cool/exciting is that?!? What’s even more exciting is the prospect of finagling a tasty meal from the Halal cart while we’re there. Omnomnom.

Okay, so this isn’t a food-related picture. But it *is* a picture (that I sort of love) of my husband Mike and I. And I’m putting it up because I can. Also, because we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary last Wednesday. Yay for that!

Breakfasts: quick oats, eggs & toast, fresh fruit, homemade yogurt, homemade granola

Lunches: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I wonder if I can grill pb&j???), pasta with olive oil & parmesan, leftovers, raw fruits and veggies

Snacks: raw fruits and veggies, pretzels, yogurt, applesauce, popcorn

Dinner:

Monday
  • tomato pesto pizza (I was planning to grill this but it hella rained today!)
  • spinach side salad
Tuesday
  • dinner in NYC
Wednesday
  • hot dogs
  • grilled corn on the cob
  • grilled summer squash & zucchini
Thursday
  • grilled eggplant burgers
  • spinach side salad
Friday
  • poached eggs on toast
  • spinach side salad
Saturday
  • grilled chicken thighs
  • grilled sweet potato rounds
  • raw veggies
Sunday 
  • grilled ratatouille over whole wheat pasta
  • grilled corn on the cob
What’s on your menu plan this week? Share in the comments section below! If you blog your own menu plan, leave a link so we can check it out. And if you want information on how to plan a weekly menu, click HERE.

Monday Menu Plan: 6/11-6/17

Conversation time: I need to talk about dirty dishes.

I’ve been getting along just fine for the past half-dozen years doing the hand washing thaaang. Now that we’re in our new place though, I’ve been reintroduced to the water gulping, electricity sucking monster that is the dishwasher. I had one in the past, but for the life of me I can’t really remember actually using it (although at the time we didn’t have dirty dish mass-producing children yet, so that’s probably why). Being the Frugal McDougal that I am, I’m really struggling with the whole hand washing vs. dishwasher thing.

Now I’ll admit, I haven’t yet googled the heck out of the issue (like I usually do), I figured someone out there in the vast world of interwebs who reads my posts might have some good, relevant information taking up brainspace in their noggin that they’d be willing to share.

So I’m reaching out to you, my wonderful, amazing, beautiful, amazing, smart, funny, amazing readers:
What do you think of hand washing dishes vs. tossing them in the dishwasher?
Is one option greener/cleaner/more economical than the other? What’s your personal dish washing preference?

Menu Planning

Breakfasts: quick oats, eggs & toast, fresh fruit, homemade yogurt

Lunches: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, pasta with olive oil & parmesan, leftovers, fruits and veggies

Snacks: fruits and veggies, pretzels, yogurt & fruit, applesauce, popcorn

Dinner:

Monday
  • impromptu dinner at a friend’s house (originally rice & veggie soup with salad was on the menu, but our homeschool powwow ran gloriously longer than expected!)
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
  • poached eggs on toast
  • salad
Saturday
Sunday 
  • Father’s Day Cookout (?)
What’s on your menu plan this week? Share in the comments section below! If you blog your own menu plan, leave a link so we can check it out. And if you want information on how to plan a weekly menu, click HERE.

Monday Menu Plan: 6/4-6/10

Howdy folks. Long time no see. Did you miss me? I totally missed you.

With all the packing, moving, unpacking and trying to figure out how to maintain the fragile balance of harmony in our new home (aka trying to return my kids to their normally scheduled programming of minimal meltdowns), l totally fell off the blogging wagon this past month. Oh and also, I haven’t been able to stick to a menu plan for the life of me during all of this and have blown my grocery budget every week.

AAAAAH THE CHAOS!!! (insert maniacal laughter, hair pulling and running in circles here) It’s been craziness, I tell you. I blame it on the cereal.

Now I’m ready to iron out the wrinkles and get back into a groove of quasi-normalcy, starting with my return to the ever-reliable menu plan. Baby steps.

New Kitchen Love: I totally heart my new kitchen. Notice all that sunlight, openness and counter space. Ohhhh the counter space! (There’s even MORE counter space that you can’t even see from this angle. It’s madness.)

Breakfasts: quick oats, eggs & toast, fresh fruit, homemade yogurt

Lunches: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, leftovers, fresh fruit and veggies

Snacks: fresh fruit and veggies, veggie straws, yogurt, applesauce, popcorn, banana muffins

Dinner:

Monday
  • roasted chicken
  • sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon
  • green beans
Tuesday
  • broccoli cheddar quiche
  • spinach side salad
Wednesday
  • dinner at my dad’s (I think?)
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
  • tuna salad on english muffins
  • fresh veggies
Sunday 
  • cheddar black bean quesadillas
  • marinated tomatoes
  • mango slices
What’s on your menu plan this week? Share in the comments section below! If you blog your own menu plan, leave a link so we can check it out. And if you want information on how to plan a weekly menu, click HERE.