Meal Plan Monday: 17-21 April

Welcome back for another edition of Meal Plan Monday! Regardless of whether you meal prep or not, having a menu and sticking to it saves tons of time and money – and if you make enough food at dinner to use as lunch the next day, you can save yourself the trouble of last minute rushing around to find food.

As usual, my only slight deviation is lunches for the young one – being in elementary school, he requires a lunch that doesn’t need to be microwaved. So as you can see I’ve added separate school lunches for him, in case you’re in the same boat! (Please note, the lunch includes an afternoon school snack as well).

I’m also only planning for Sunday night through Friday night, because weekends tend to be a free for all in my house.

*Note: I’m feeding two adults and one elementary school age boy, so we try to make enough food for three, plus leftovers.*

This week I’ve added my food prep items for Sunday, as well as a shopping list and approximate cost. I’ve used the current prices for my local Wegmans, but if you shop at Aldi or other discount grocery stores you can definitely get this meal plan for much less!

BEAR FAMILY MEAL PLAN, WEEK THREE

SUNDAY FOOD PREP:

– make your crockpot carnitas

– chop your veggies (onion, potato, pepper, broccoli, zucchini)

– spiralize two zucchini

– cook 2lbs of turkey meatballs

Sunday Dinner: Crockpot Cashew Chicken

Monday:

B: scrambled eggs with crockpot carnitas

L: leftover crockpot chicken

L2: ham and cheese roll-up, grapes, chips, granola bar, milk, apple juice

D: Build Your Own Hamburgers, oven roasted potato wedges

Tuesday:

B: scrambled eggs, bacon

L: carnitas over salad

L2: tuna snack, apple slices, fruit snacks, granola bar, milk, apple juice

D: Greek Chicken Salads (recipe coming soon)

Wednesday:

B: overnight oats

L: leftover crockpot chicken

L2: ham and cheese dino sandwich, grapes, chips, oreos, milk, apple juice

D: Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles

Thursday:

B: scrambled eggs with carnitas

L: leftover meatballs and zoodles

L2: hot pocket, apple slices, chips, granola bar, milk, apple juice

D: One Pan Chicken and Roast Vegetables

Friday:

B: greek chicken “breakfast salad”

L: leftover one pan chicken and vegetables

L2: chicken apple sausage, grapes, chips, granola bar, milk, apple juice

D: Homemade Pizza Night

Shopping List (prices based on my local Wegmans)

Proteins

3lbs pork shoulder          $4.47 ($1.49/lb – family pack)

5lbs chicken breast        $9.40 ($1.88/lb – family pack)

hamburger patties         $5.99 (4 patties)

bacon, uncured               $6.99

2lbs ground turkey         $5.98 (2.99/lb – family pack)

sliced deli ham                $3.00

2 doz eggs                         $2.58 (1.29/doz)

Produce

onions (2lb bag)                $1.99

white potatoes (5lb bag) $1.99

bell pepper (6ct)               $5.49 (family pack)

cherry tomato                  $3.99 (family pack)

cucumber (2ea)                $1.32 (3/2.00)

romaine hearts (3pk)      $2.99

parseley, fresh                  $1.99

blueberries, 1pint            $3.99

zucchini, 2lb                      $3.58

broccoli, 1lb                       $1.79

apples                                  $2.99 (approx)

grapes                                  $2.99 (approx)

Dairy

greek yogurt (lg tub)      $4.99

Siggis yogurt drink        $3.99

mozzarella, shredded   $2.99

sliced cheese                    $3.00

tzatziki sauce, tub         $4.49

Other

pizza dough                    $3.57 (*NOTE: I bought the pizza dough at Trader Joe’s                                                    3 individual bags at $1.19 each)

TOTAL COST:                $96.54

NOTE: This shopping list assumes I have the following items in my pantry (which I usually do)

instant rice

spices

olive oil

gluten free quaker oats

protein powder

spaghetti sauce

pizza sauce

pizza toppings (jarred jalapenos, canned pineapple, canned olives, etc)

What are you eating this week? Do you meal plan in advance? Leave a comment and let me know!

Let’s (not) Compare

So the other day my husband and I were sitting on the couch and out of the blue my husband turns to me and says, “do you ever think that Facebook is just a place where people…” he started to trail off and so I helpfully inserted, “post only the good things about their lives and never any bad?” To which he responded very emphatically, “YES”.

Um…only all the time.

This isn’t to call anyone out, or to knock Facebook. Social media can be and usually is a good thing – you can catch up with people from your past you’d otherwise never see or talk to, you can get accurate information on a nearby restaurant recommendation, you can share pictures and videos with friends and family…heck, one of my friends used Facebook Live to stream a birthday party for her son! Which was great, considering she lives like twelve states away. There are lots of good applications. But my husband hit on one of the more negative sides of social media: jealousy. How easy is it to check out your old high school rival’s facebook page and compare yourself to everything you see? How many times have you scrolled through your newsfeed, picking out all the things you wish you were doing, or that baby you wish was growing inside your belly, or that wedding you wish you were planning, or that house you wish you could afford? How many times does it make you feel like your life doesn’t compare?

I do it. All the time.

To be honest – there was one point where I had to take a social media hiatus because I was working myself into a fit every time I got online. But as my husband puts it, “you are comparing someone else’s highlights reel to your blooper reel.” Isn’t that the truth? (FYI: my husband is wicked smart.)

What does God tell us about jealousy?

James 3:16 says, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” (ESV)

Adding to that, Proverbs 14:30 tells us that, “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” (ESV)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be in the midst of “disorder and every vile practice”, and I certainly don’t want to participate in anything that “makes bones rot”! Unfortunately, we know that jealous, envy, etc are bi-products of our sinful human nature. Fortunately, God loves us and forgives us when we ask for it, and if we live our lives for Him, He will helps us with these struggles.

When I start to feel jealousy, or when I begin to compare my life to other people’s, I fall back on the words of David in Psalms 139:

“You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What you have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother’s body. When I was put together there, you saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me  were written in your book before I was one day old.” Psalm 139:13-16 (NCV)

God made me to be exactly who He wants me to be. He planned my days and He knows what I am going to do, when I am going to do it, and what I’m going to have. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, in His image. How could I compare myself then to anyone else?

I’m not saying it’s easy – some days are much harder than others. But it also helps me to think about all the blessings I have in my life – God has blessed me with a loving husband, a beautiful stepson, a house, a job, a car, a family. God crafted me to be exactly who He wants and needs me to be – and I can rest in the promises of His love.

And to God – we are all his highlights.

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LulaRoe

Soo…sometime in the middle of January one of my girlfriends casually mentioned that she was having a LulaRoe party and invited me to come. My first response was, of course, “Lula-what?” I don’t even remember what she told me it was, something about a clothing line and leggings, but I decided I’d go because 1) she’s my friend; and 2) I love clothes.

I probably should not have gone.

To make a long story short, I ended up buying a miniature new wardrobe and in fact purchased so much that I earned myself a pair of free leggings for being the person who…well…spent the most money at the party. Which is funny considering I didn’t intend to spend ANY money, I was just going for moral support. Plus, I don’t (didn’t) even like leggings!

Anyway. In a nutshell, LulaRoe is an independent clothing brand that specializes in super comfortable clothing – most notably their leggings. The kicker about their clothing is that they only manufacture a certain number of any specific pattern – so their selling point is that if you see something you love, you had better buy it NOW because you might not see it again.

It totally works.

So, being fairly new to the Lula world, I decided I’d share some of my honest thoughts – in no particular order.

  1. It drives me absolutely BONKERS when I hear their leggings described as “buttery soft”. Yes, their leggings are super soft. But for whatever reason (call me crazy), likening them to something I use to grease casserole dishes and cook scrambled eggs just doesn’t hold much appeal to me. Unfortunately it’s like a LLR coined phrase and so I see it ALL THE TIME.
  2. Some of their patterns are, if I may say, UGLY. Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone has their own opinion…but man, some of the items I see make my eyes go crossed. That said, there are tons of patterns that I ADORE and have on occasion spent more time than I will admit here searching facebook groups for a particular pattern. (I’m looking at you, shark-and-whale-print leggings!!!)
  3. Which leads me to this: it’s frustrating that you can’t buy clothes directly from the LLR website – you have to make purchases through independent consultants via their facebook pages. I am now a member of approximately 5,000 lularoe facebook groups and now the only things I see in my facebook feed are announcements on giveaways, shop openings or live parties, or happy memes from consultants.
  4. Not only that, but independent consultants have no control over their inventory, so there’s no guarantee who has what pattern and so you have to make purchases from different people – each with their own varying sales tax percentages and shipping costs, and everyone has their own little rewards or benefits. My case study on this uber-frustrating aspect:

Exhibit A: I purchased clothes in person from one group and they have a “buy 10 items, get 1 pair of free leggings” rewards card. I’m only 2 items away from a free pair of leggings, but I’m not really all that keen on the items this particular group has available and so I may never get that free pair of leggings.

Exhibit B; I joined a birthday club from another group in which I receive 10% off all purchases during my birthday month.

Exhibit C: I bought a pair of leggings from one group and received $5 “lulacash”…which is only good if I purchase something else from that particular person’s shop.

Exhibit D: I bought a shirt from another group and received $10 “lulacash”…which again is only good if I purchase something else from that person’s shop.

So, which technically I am two items away from a free pair of leggings, could get 10% off my entire purchase, AND have $15 “lulacash” to spend…by the time to break out individual purchases from each retailer and then pay taxes and shipping fees…it’s totally not worth it and I’m really not reaping any benefit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the CLOTHING isn’t worth it, but to try to take advantage of all the separate “rewards” is not worth it and doesn’t save me any money whatsoever.

5. All of the above aside, their clothing is darned comfortable. I never considered myself a leggings person before, but I think that was because I couldn’t find a pair that I really liked. These leggings are so soft that I could live in them. Along with the rest of the LLR clothing I now own.

6. In addition to being super comfortable, certain styles of their clothing fit my own personal fashion “style” to a T. I’ve tried trends in the past, but they don’t last. I am classic to a fault, which is why the styles I gravitated towards when I went to that first LLR party were the Randy (a baseball style tee), the Perfect (a longer tee fitted in the top but flows out slightly at the hips), the Classic (a simple tee that works with anything), and the Sarah (a knee length cardigan sweater). I love that all the tops fall a little longer in the bank so to adequately cover my bum. And as long as I’m wearing solid colors or somewhat tamer printers, I can dress them up enough for work and still be 100% comfortable at home. Lastly, if I had to choose one “outfit” to wear for the rest of my life it would be jeans (or leggings now!), a simple tee, and a cardigan. Forever and ever, amen.

Translate that into LulaRoe and I would live in a pair of leggings, a classic tee, and a sarah. Every day for the rest of my life.

I could probably go on and on, but I’ll step off my soapbox for now.

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