Husband Gift Guide

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I’ve made a gift guide of my husbands favorite things he has worn or used this year. I hope you find this helpful as the holidays are quickly approaching. Click on the links below & happy shopping!

1. Noise canceling ear buds from Nordstrom, we can’t fly without these!

2. Roka Kona sunglasses that are trendy but great for sports as well.

3. Herschel toilette bag from Nordstrom is a great bag for everyday and travel.

4. Yeti tumblers keep ice or hot drinks cold or hot all day. We tested them out pool side in Hawaii and our pina coladas stayed cold all day!

5. Oppo suits sold at Nordstrom, a complete suit for $99.00 and you can find one for just about every holiday.

6. Cologne is the best for men to wear, I got this one at Nordstrom Rack. I found it on Amazon for a comparable price, it smells really good!

7. Happy socks are funky, fun and fashionable. My husband gets compliments all the time for his crazy socks.

8. Bear claw slippers are fun to put on after a long days of work; they make you smile!

9. Garmin Vivoactive watch is fashionable but functional, my husband wears his everyday.

10. Qalo ring is great for working out with comfort and flexibility.

 

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Thanksgiving Dinner

Cooking thanksgiving dinner can be very overwhelming, but why should it when it’s a day to be thankful & spend time with your loved ones. We have a tradition of going to Mexico with our friends, which is the most amazing tradition…EVER! Although I could eat Mexican food everyday, we still miss our favorite sides for Thanksgiving. We solved this problem by hosting Friendsgiving each year. Unfortunalty, this year we couldn’t find a free weekend & didn’t end up having one; Jackson was bummed he wasn’t going to get his turkey and favorite Thanksgiving sides. To his surprise he came home on Monday to a Thanksgiving feast! Here is how I did this dinner, stress free and everything was ready on time.

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First, I picked out recipes from Pintrest. Here they are:

http://thenoshery.com/apple-cider-glazed-turkey-breast-and-giving-breast-cancer-the-boot/

*I did a small turkey breast, it cooked fast and was enough for the two of us for three left over days of lunches and dinners. YUM!

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http://celebratingsweets.com/sweet-potato-casserole-with-marshmallow-pecan streusel/

*This was really good, tasted like dessert!

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http://www.campbells.com/kitchen/recipes/classic-green-bean-casserole

*The classic Thanksgiving side dish, my favorite!

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http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-mashed-potato-casserole-recipes-from-the-kitchn-211202?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=managed&crlt.pid=camp.Dg4o3wFZquhR

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*This was a new recipe for me and it was delicious! It said to substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream, so it’s healthy right?!

http://www.jimmydean.com/recipes/holidays/sausage-cornbread-stuffing

*This was Jackson’s favorite dish of the night!

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Then I made all of the sides ahead of time, minus the stuffing. I wrote on post-it notes: the cooking instructions, cooking time and added any extra notes from the recipe. I marinated the turkey and stuck everything in the refrigerator.

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I got home from my errands around 5:00 and immediately started cooking the turkey in the oven. I also put the green bean casserole in with the turkey, set the timer for 25 minutes and started cooking the stuffing. I pulled the green bean casserole out, put the stuffing and potato casserole in. After 35 minutes I pulled the cover off the stuffing, rotated and basted the turkey and put in the sweet potato casserole. Everything was ready around 7:00, just in time for the arrival for my husband to get home.

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He was surprised to see the Thanksgiving spread and we ate until we couldn’t move. Thanksgiving dinner never disappoints! I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you gobble til you wobble!

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Ironman Kona

Ironman Kona is the pinnacle of all triathlon races, equivalent in this sport is like the Super Bowl, the Wimbledon or the World Cup, the big Kahuna so to speak. You have to qualify by placing at the top of your age group at an Ironman race. It’s a challenge to just do an Ironman, but this race brings the best of the best in the sport. This was my husband’s second time competing in Kona and I was just along for the ride, as his biggest cheerleader!

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The second time at a race is always more enjoyable for everyone involved. We knew to have someone go early to get a spot on the pier, to go to ‘hot corner’ after the swim, what restaurant to go after seeing him take off on his quest of 112 miles on the bike and how to split up on his marathon run, to optimize our cheerleading squad. There were 14 #teamdovey supporters and we were in full force cheering our Ironman on! Even Jackson’s grandparents were there, second year in a row! #lifegoals

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Jackson’s mom rented a house in Kona, a few miles from the race. The house was a sanctuary for all to meet up to: relax, watch the sunset on the balcony and have family dinners. There is something about being with family that lets you be an authentic you and have belly laughs for days.

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The first night we got to Kona, Jackson and I planned a date night at the Four Seasons. We knew this was a must before family got there and Jackson’s Ironman obligations started. When we got to the Four Seasons we felt worlds away, their grounds are prestine and you immediately feel relaxed with the tropical decor and quietness of the grounds. We ate at ULU Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge and everything that touched our lips was a true mouth explosion! Jackson and I watched the sunset and while sipping on my pina colada, I slipped into vacation mode.

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The next day was the Underpants Run, a pre-race tradition. Jackson’s team all meet in their Everyman Jack speedos and no one was disappointed! I spectated the race, which was the best people watching ever; the costumes and lack their of was a sight to see.

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Friday was a day for Jackson to relax and check-in his bike with his team, so I left with my parents to the Four Seasons for lunch. After lunch we shopped around in Waikola. It was nice to getaway because the day before a race is never a fun day for the significant other of an Ironman and understandably so…tomorrow was a big day! Friday night we had everyone over to the house and Jackson bbqed his prerace meal for everyone. After dinner he made a speech to all of #teamdovey, it was a very touching moment. After the speech he passed out a hand written note to everyone…melt! We all got our Everyman Jack shirts, a lei, a whistle and Jackson’s mom gave the girls a beaded bracelet with his race number, so special! We laid our stuff out and got to bed early, I prayed for Jackson’s guardian angel and was actually really excited for the race (I’m usually a bit nervous and can’t sleep).

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We woke up early and Jackson’s parents took him to the race start. I followed soon after with my parents. Jackson’s mom declared a space on the pier as we anxiously awaited the canon to go off. The swim start is a spectical in and of itself, 1400 men swimming in the distance, the water looks like thousands of fish flopping at the surface of the ocean. Jackson said the swim is a real fight, with men punching and kicking trying to gain that front position. I’m just thankful my husband is a good swimmer and can handle his own.

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After the swim we quickly hopped off of the pier wall and raced to the ‘hot corner’ to see Jack race by on his bike. We saw him up-close at the start of the bike and then we raced to the other side to see him wize by us, then to the other side to see a better view as he was peddling his heart out to look his best amongst hundreds of people as he was going up a steep incline. This part reminded me of a small glimpse into the Tour de France with hundreds of people trying to get as close as they can to the cyclist they are cheering on. After we saw Jackson on his trek uphill, that was the last time we saw him for the next 4.5 hours.

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This is normally a nerve racking time for me because the bike is the only real danger during a triathlon. We walked to Daylight Mind Coffee Company, where all #teamdovey and a few Everyman Jack cheerleaders were. Meeting new people and being around family passed the time quickly and I wasn’t worried once, guilty yes…we ate breakfast while my husband was riding his bike through wind, intense heat and let’s not forget about the tiny seat he’s sitting on. From there, Team Dovey met outside the restaurant to see Jack on the run and it ended up being a perfect spot to cheer him on.

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His splits started to drop on the run and I was getting worried because I knew the pace he wanted to keep. I didn’t give up, I marched to a spot where I could catch him before the finish. Although I was exhausted and feeling bummed that he wasn’t reaching his ultimate goal, I pushed on and cheered my @$$ off and then sprinted down to the finish. The finish chute is magical, flags line the chute from every country, music blaring and Mike Reilly exclaiming “you are an Ironman,” to everyone that crosses the finish line it is an emotional and spectacular thing to to be a part of. Jackson raced down the chute and I got to witness my man crossing the finish line as tears streamed down my face, I was one of the most proud wives. My husband accomplished something most humans can’t fathom to even think about doing in a lifetime. Jackson found me amongst the sea of people and gave me a kiss; a kiss that meant the thank you for the endless hours of support, dedication to his training and finally excited about off season. He did it, another race under his belt, one to be proud of and he crossed the finish line with pride! This year he finished 9th in the US!! Team Dovey is so proud and now it’s time to party!

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What Matters Most

With all the opinions poring out last week that held so much negativity, I decided to not get down on life and focus on what matters the most to me. I first took a break from Facebook because I’m just not a political person, happy pictures on Instagram and funny faces on Snapchat are more my speed. I choose love at the end of the day, positivity and being the best person possible. The world is way bigger than myself but I have the power to change myself which can start with being the best wife, trickle down to my family, my friends, their friends, my community and so forth; being a good human being in this day in age is beyond critical. So this November I’m starting with myself to not only give my all to my husband, family, friends, but my community as well.

My husband and I have been traveling a lot lately, which has been really fun! When we got home last week reality struck hard and not only was my husband super busy at work, our home & personal to dos seemed to be overflowing with mundane tasks. I was feeling the hustle and bustle of this busy time of year, with holidays galore and my to do list growing. While driving on Tuesday I was letting the negativity win, letting my inner voice take over which in turn was stressing me out. At my next errand I pulled out some stickies I had in my car, wrote down what I was thankful for, changed my attitude and decided to let positivity take over. It was that simple, one minute changed my mindset; its it crazy how powerful our minds are!

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That night I started making a list of fun things to do instead of dwelling on the not so fun things we have to do in our world of ‘adulting.’ One idea was making a game themed date night box for my husband. I bought a few games at Target, a puzzle from Costco, snacks at Whole Foods, our favorite wine & beer. I wrote a short poem, assembled the date night box and left it on the kitchen table. After a long week at work my husband had a fun surprise awaiting for him. Sometimes with the craziness of day to day life, you have to fit in time for fun. I encourage you to make a themed date night box or plan a fun date night for your significant other, it won’t disappoint!

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I hope everyone chooses to better themselves and be the positive light our world needs. Start at home and work your way into your community. We can make a huge difference in this amazing country we live in! Love can conquer all!!

Stay tuned for more fun ideas on dating my husband and how I’m going to be giving back to my community. What are some fun date night ideas you have done?

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FALLtastic Recipes

When we returned home from Hawaii, I wasn’t quite ready for Fall, but coming back to rainy weather forced me to embrace the Fall season with open arms. With an empty fridge I quickly went to Pintrest for some fall recipe inspo. I hit the jackpot with these fall recipes, Bon Appetit!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/our-favorite-lasagna-with-sausage-spinach-and-three-cheeses-51253440?mbid_Social_Facebook_Video_Status

My Facebook feed has turned into cooking videos and I’m obsessed. I found this recipe through Facebook and talk about the ultimate comfort food, five stars for this recipe!

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http://damndelicious.net/2014/04/14/easy-garlic-parmesan-knots/

These were super easy and delicious!!!

http://www.shelikesfood.com/1/post/2015/10/fall-quinoa-salad-with-kale-sweet-potato-maple-tahini-dressing.html

*I added 2 chicken breast to this recipe, marinated in maple syrup.

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http://www.lunchpailsandlipstick.com/carne-asada-tacos-trader-joes/

Jackson bbqed the meat, it was a hot day. This was an easy recipe and all the ingredients were found at Trader Joes. Thanks to my sis for sharing this delicious recipe with me!

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/chicken-enchilada-stuffed-squash.html

This was an amazing fall recipe, one that will be on repeat! I bought the red enchilada sauce at Trader Joes in a glass bottle, really yummy! This recipe was quick and delicious

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http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2014/09/hearty-beef-soup-recipe.html?m=

This recipe took awhile to cook, but worth the wait! The beef melted in your mouth and reminded me of my grandma’s beef soup; when you compare a recipe to your grandma’s cooking, you know it must be good!

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I hope you enjoy these fall recipes! Happy Fall Y’all!

 

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TriWife Life

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This one goes out to all of you TRIwives out there; cheers to you and supporting your man! My husband has been doing triathlons for five years and there have been ups and downs with them. Triathlons are not easy on a triwife; we have had countless arguments and tears over the amount of: training, no checkins on long bike rides and the famous signing up for races without me knowing, but you’ve always wanted to go there…right?! NO, triathlons are not a vacation! Being a triathlete is very expensive, the training is endless and the amount of worry I endure on long bike rides and races are torture for me. My husband has crashed twice on his bike and let me tell you the road always wins. On the other hand we have met some amazing friends through the triathlon community. When you attend a triathlon race its amazing, the amount of motivation and support from: volunteers, spectators, family and friends, it makes you want to sign up for the next tri; it’s truly something I can’t describe. I am the most proud person when my husband crosses that finish line  because I know how much time, effort and energy he puts into his training and that alone is something to be awe struck over! Although triathlons are truly not my favorite thing because it takes my man away from me, it makes him happy so I choose to be supportive. It is not easy being a triwife, but let me give you a few of our secrets to what keeps me putting up with these tri things because as you can tell it’s a love hate relationship.

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Calendar (planning for the week): When Jackson receives his workouts from his coach, he puts them on our monthly calendar white board. We also talk about our day before we go to bed and I try to remember to ask him what his workout plan is for the following day.

Tracking on the Phone: There is an app called: Find Friends on iPhones and you have to first add a friend, then they have to approve the request. This app allows you to see where your approved friends are. Jackson and I use this on his long rides, I can check this app and receive a piece of mind by seeing if he is still moving every 30 seconds. This has been a great tool we have started using this year.

Races, then vacation after: Leading up to a race is not a vacation, Jackson is very much preoccupied mentally about his race ahead. Before a race there are a lot of preparation for a triathlon: bike check in, setting your bags for transitions and lots of rest until the big race. We have learned to take some time after the race, if we can to fit in a vacation; Jackson is always down to party after finishing a race.

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Has to be home for dinner: Jackson does a great job planning his day and fits in his training throughout his day, so he can be home by dinner. Eating dinner at the dinning table has always been important to us; we talk about our days and reconnect after not seeing each other all day.

Look at races and scheduling for the year: Jackson has become really great at looking at the races he wants to do and then looking at our calendar to see what races will fit into our year. He tries to pick new places and destinations we have never been; which has been really fun to visit and explore new places.

Try to train with him: I have recently sagged on his long runs, while riding my bike and carrying his water and nutrition. We have also swam and done yoga together.

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Team Dovey: We both have amazing family members who travel with us; I have never attended an Ironman without family there. We feel so lucky because an Ironman is a long race and can be a bit nerve racking for me and our families have been there to eat breakfast after the swim, lunch after seeing him on the bike and help cheer on Jackson. Team Dovey is always out in full force and you can’t miss us with: signs, whistles, cowbells and whatever else it takes to cheer on our hard working Ironman. Jackson feels blessed to have so many of us cheering him on, throughout a grueling race; I love when we put a smile on his face!

Triwife Friends: I have been blessed to meet amazing triwives, through Jackson’s triathlon teams; we have hit the jackpot with our trifriends. It always helps to share a commonality with my fellow triwives because we are truly the only one who knows how much time and energy our boys put into training for a tri! I love all of you and thank you for your endless support and tri talks; I couldn’t do this without you!

Pray for a guarding angel over him…ALWAYS!

Biggest Cheerleader: Jackson is my everything, it’s my choice and a no brainer to be at every single one of his triathlon races. He supports me and I will always be his biggest cheerleader at his races and in life!

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Congratulations to every triathlete out there, your endless hours of dedication and effort are so inspiring to so many. Best of luck in your races. Sending out the best of luck to all of the Kona World Championship racers for 2016; I can’t wait to see you out there and cheer you on. I guess that race isn’t a bad place to go and this year my husband and I are taking a REAL vacation to Kauai afterwards…he’s learning! Triwives, we are in this together. I’m holding my glass of champagne and making a cheers to each and everyone of you! Happy off season or soon to be! Xo #teamdovey

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Healthy Menu Plan


I’m posting our last week’s menu, full of healthy and delicious recipes.

Dinner Recipes:

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/honey-lemon-rosemary-grilled-chicken/?m&m

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http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/tomato-peach-burrata-salad/?m

*We bbqed the peaches for the salad; it was amazing!

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/power-salad-with-lemon-chia-seed-dressing/?m&m

imagehttp://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/roasted-broccoli-quinoa-salad/?m*We added pan seared chicken breasts to this recipe.

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http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/spring-quinoa-bowl/?m*We added bbqed chicken breasts to this recipe.

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We tailgated on Saturday and had left over burger patties and decided to make burger bowls. My husband bbqed the burger patties, we put them over arugula and added our favorite burger toppings; they were delicious!

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Snacks:

http://kristineskitchenblog.com/apple-cinnamon-cookie-energy-bites/

-Cucumber topped with tuna from the can.

-Hardboiled eggs topped with a pinch of salt and pepper.

-I love the individual packages of raw almonds from Trader Joes. I have a package in my car or purse at all times; just in case my hanger comes into play!

I hope you have a fabulous week!

 

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Monday Menu Plan

My husband is at the peak of his training for his pinnacle race of the year, Ironman World Championships in Kona; which means less: carbs, sugar, alcholol and healthier meals with more protein on their way to our casa. We also made a goal to only drink twice a week and have one dessert (this starts tomorrow); wish me luck!

I thought I would share our menu for this week.

Breakfast:

My husband has oatmeal with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a touch of maple syrup. I will be having acai bowls (acai brand link below) topped with: bananas, whatever berries are on sale at the grocery store, sweetened flakes of coconut and super seed blend from Trader Joes (link below). We also drink coffee: my husband has two cups of black coffee with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk & I have two cups of black coffee with two pumps of vanilla syrup.

Vanilla Syrup:

http://www.worldmarket.com/product/torani+french+vanilla+syrup.do

Acai Berry Smoothie Packs:

https://www.instacart.com/safeway/products/1235938-sambazon-organic-acai-berry-smoothie-packs-3-5-oz

Super Seed Mix:

http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/2797

Main Course:

Mexican Quinoa Salad:

http://minimalistbaker.com/mexican-quinoa-salad-with-orange-lime-dressing/ *I will be adding BBQ chicken rubbed in Mexican spices.

Chicken Quinoa Salad:

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2013/02/bbq-chicken-quinoa-salad.html

Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad with Pesto: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/sweet-potato-chickpea-salad-with-pesto/ *I will be adding two chicken breasts to this recipe.

Summer Quinoa Bowls:

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/summer-quinoa-bowl/ *I will be adding two chicken breasts to this recipe.

Yellowfin Tuna with Grilled Pineapple Salsa: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/grilled-yellow-fin-tuna-with-grilled-pineapple-salsa-recipe.html *My husband recently went fishing with his 90 year old grandpa and caught yellowfin tuna, so we are cooking them up once a week!

Dessert:

Whole Foods Ice Cream (thank you Jody for the recommendation)!

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/whole-foods-market-italian-gelatos

Snacks:

Protein balls:

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/no-bake-energy-bites/

Protein Box:

http://theskinnyfork.com/blog/skinny-starbucks-protein-bistro-box

Raw veggies: carrots, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, & cucumbers.

5 seed almond bars at Trader Joes http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/1751

Trail mix in individual bags at Trader Joes http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/413

Fruit: bananas, apples and stone fruit.

I hope everyone has a healthy and happy week, from our home to yours!

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Menu Planning

Oh the dreaded, “what’s for dinner?” question asked by your husband after a busy day and the LAST thing you want to think about! My husband and I cook most week nights and making the grocery list and then having to go to the grocery store is a real drag, but a home cooked meal and your waist line will appreciate it (and your bank account too)! I hope my method brings you inspiration to try my organized grocery list or make a meal from the amazing food blogs I follow. I encourage you to cook five out of the seven days next week, you can do it! Follow my simple steps to menu planning.

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Here’s The Skinny:

  1. Decide how many meals
  2. Gather recipes
  3. Make the grocery list
  4. Grocery shop

The Delicious Detailed Plan:

First, I think about our week ahead and count how many dinners we will need for the week and what kind of week it will be, this helps to determine how easy or fast the meals need to be. My husband and I both eat leftovers for lunch, so if a recipe calls for two chicken breast, I double the recipe. My weekly recipes usually consist of: salads, chicken recipes, a Mexican meal and a fish dish. I also think about breakfast and snacks for the week ahead.

Menu Making:

Once I have the number of meals, I go to the Internet (usually just on my phone) to my favorite food blogs or look through our recipe books (listed below). If the recipe is on the Internet I copy the website address and paste it into either an e-mail or a word document (if I’m on my phone I paste it into my notes app). I usually send a copy of the websites to my husband via e-mail or text because we share the cooking duty, but most nights we cook together; which is a great way to unwind after a busy day and connect through team work and talking (lets be honest we can do this because we don’t’ have kids and team work means eating sooner)!

Grocery List:

When I have gathered all of my recipes, I start with the actual grocery list. The Real Simple Grocery List helps me a ton by not only making the list but also when I’m at the grocery store, to navigate the aisles quickly and locate items because the list is categorized by each section of the grocery store (I buy mine at Target, link below). When I’m making the list and I’m not sure if we have an item, I write it on the top of my list with a question mark next to it or on a sticky note. When I’m done with the list, I go on a hunt to our pantry or refrigerator for the questionable items.

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A must have grocery list:

http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/organizing-products/grocery-checklist

Grocery Store:

Then off to the dreaded grocery store; I wish I loved going, but it is a real chore for me…okay to be honest it’s because of: the people’s carts in the middle of the aisle, the child having a tantrum, the slow checker, the bagger that puts the delicate items on the bottom and heavy items on top of them, or the worst-they are out of the one or two items you must have and… off to the second or third grocery store I go.

My grocery bill was less than $100.00 for 6 breakfasts, lunches and dinners last week (I had the shrimp and talapia in the freezer)!

Favorite Food Blogs:

http://www.marthastewart.com/274264/everyday-food-recipes

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/blog

Favorite Recipe Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Food-Great-Fast/dp/03073541

http://americastestkitchen.buysub.com/america-s-test-kitchen-special-magazine-issues.html

(I buy these at Costco or Target)

 

 

 

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Tourists In Our Own City

This Way to San Jose!

Have you ever driven by somewhere on your way home and wondered what was inside or wanted to go to that one place the tourist go, when they visit the city you live in? Well that’s exactly what we did, so put on your Hawaiian tourist shirt and strap on your camera because it’s about to get adventurous up ahead!

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The first stop was The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. It is a tourist destination, one I recommend reserving the first appointment, if your visiting on the weekend.imageOur tour started at 9:12 AM; odd time but then again it’s Santa Cruz. Our tour guide gathered our group of 12 around and explained the history behind the Mystery Spot. After a few corny jokes, we walked up a gradual hill, that was surprisingly tougher than it should have been…strange! Once we reached the top, we came upon a tilted house. We still don’t really understand, but once we were at the top of this hill, it had a gravitational pull and you appeared to be sideways. It was crazy, you could lean forward and not fall, it was definitely a…MYSTERY???imageAt the end of the tour they gave each person a yellow, Mystery Spot bumper sticker. It was one of those places we will only go once, but it was worth going; checked that off our tourist list!image

Next we went to The Buttery, a delicious bakery. It was packed, with people everywhere and two lines on either side. We quickly realized you needed a number for the pastry side, so we grabbed one and looked in their cases of amazing: pastries, cakes and pies. I picked out what I wanted and Jackson waited for his number to be called, while I went to the other side to order breakfast (this side doesn’t require a number). I ordered a cruisant breakfast sandwich and a vanilla latte. We sat outside and split everything. It was amazing, not a crumb was left; we will definitely be returning!image

We drove home to change into shorts, hopped onto our cruiser bikes and went to our next destination. We rode up to an Egyptian Museum with beautiful gold doors and giant, blue and white columns.imageWe have gone by this museum countless times, so we were curious as to what was inside. The docent explained that it was the largest Egyptian Museum on the West Coast and we were free to roam around the meseum and gardens, with our receipt being proof we paid. Jackson and I aren’t big museums goers, but we enjoyed looking at the history and how the Egyptians lived. It only took us about thirty minutes to walk through the museum and then we exited outside to explore the grounds. The gardens were beautiful and the Peace Garden was my favorite.image

After a few photo ops, we were back on our bikes and on the road to lunch. Our friends the night before told us about a new German bar, Ludwig’s German Table. It was not on the itenerery, but a true adventure has twists and turns at every corner. We pulled up to the bar and immediately thought it was a cool place, two historic ajoining houses with a large outdoor patio and lots of seating. It was a hot day, so we were happy to sit inside. The owner greeted us at the door and the decor was not what we expected, modern and beautifully decorated in navy and white. The owner said to pick our seats and he recommended my drink, a refreshing Ludwig’s House Hugo and he helped Jackson pick a German beer.imageWe split the pretzel to start and had the Jäger Schnitzel (thinly pounded chicken breast drizzled with mushroom cream sauce) and a side of fries for lunch; Jackson and I loved everything! The the owner was fantastic; he shared about beer week, he invited us to an upcoming event at his restaurant and even gave us a private tour of the German Hall amidst his restaurant. We have already been back and brought friends to enjoy the hot, new bar in town.

Our last stop was a continuation of our anniversary, a very romantic evening at The Grandview Restaurant. Before we got out of the car I had an anniversary gift hidden in the backseat for Jackson. It was our favorite wine, a 2007 (our wedding year) Jordan Cabrenet. Later at dinner we decided to drink this wine for every anniversary, it’s that good!imageWe sat outside and the view was breathtaking. Jackson and I enjoyed our slow paced meal, with romantic Frank Sinatra music playing and the food was mouthwatering at every course. It was very quiet outside and there were only two other couples, which made the experience more intimate. Towards sunset it started to get crowded and the patio was full by the time we left. imageWe enjoyed their famous cheesecake for dessert and watched the sun set on the balcony, arm in arm. It was a perfect way to end an amazing day of firsts.image

I encourage you to be a tourist in your own city and explore the area you live in; an adventure with your significant other will never disappoint!

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