Intentionally Grateful Tuesdays

 

This year, I am setting out to live a more grateful life, and see what kind of changes and effects it has on my daily life. I have often found myself frustrated with life and feeling like I need more in order to be happy. If this or that were different, things would be just right. Do you ever find yourself feeling this way? Instead of feeling frustrated by the things that I don’t have or feel like I should have already accomplished by now, I am going to look for ways to be grateful for the life I already have this year. Every Tuesday, I will be posting a new story about how living this way is making a difference in my life.

I would love it if you would join me as I start this journey in my life! I have prepared a printable workbook that will serve as a journal for you as you begin your intentionally grateful journey this year. The workbook is free, and will be delivered directly to your inbox when you subscribe to my newsletter! All you have to do is look to the right, scroll down a bit, type in your email address and click subscribe. (I promise to never share or sell your info and I also promise not to spam you with constant emails!)

Also, don’t forget to follow my Facebook page, so you can keep up with the weekly posts and share your experiences!

Getting a New Pair of Glasses

I can’t believe it was almost four years ago that I wrote this post. My kids were 14, 9, 4, and 2. I was in the thick of parenting all of the ages. My stresses are different now, but so much of this still rings true. So for all of the moms out there, this one is for you! 

Next week I will turn 32, and I feel like I have been a mother forever at this point. Fourteen years ago, when I turned 18, it would be one week later that I would become a mother. From the time I found out I was pregnant with Alyssa, I never had a doubt that I would keep her, and from that day on I spent most of my time trying to learn how to be an adult. I learned to be strong and that I could make it through anything. Sometimes I feel like I have gone through these last 14 years always trying to be older to compensate for the fact that I was so young. It used to be so hard for me and really hurt my feelings when people would point out how young I looked/was. Once when I was in the mall (only about 4 years ago) this lady thought I was 16, and here I am walking with a couple of kids age 9 &4. Honestly, it kind of made me mad and hurt that this lady had seemed to go out of her way to point out that I must have started young.

When you start out your adult life as a newlywed, pregnant, and already out on your own it is sort of like being thrown into a pool to learn how to swim. Sure you have people telling you what to do, but it is ultimately you that has to swim so that you don’t sink. And along the way there is this constant pressure that you should be doing this or that. You should be all things at all times, so that is what you set your goals to. You will work full time to make sure that your kids had what you didn’t. You will stay at home with your kids and cook all the time and always be in a state of crafty, mommy bliss. And then came the social networks and the blogs and Pinterest and it is like High School : Mommy Edition. Who took their kids to Sunday School? Who cooked healthy awesome meals all this week? Who has the right political agenda? Who buys cute handmade clothes for their kids? Who had fun activities planned out for every day of Christmas break? Who made the best teacher gift? Who can make a wreath that looks just like that one they pinned? And not that there is anything wrong with these things that we post. The thing that is wrong is how we read them. Oh wow, I sure wish I had the time/energy/money to do that.Why do we do that to ourselves?

It is a learning process, this job of motherhood. You have to allow yourself to be and accept who you are. Being unapologetic about who I am scares the crap out of me and I suspect that hiding (besides my thyroid) it has helped lead to this state of anxiety and depression that I have been in lately. From the time I became an adult, I have been different. I wasn’t going to college or getting a job, I was changing diapers. And I was ashamed that I wasn’t doing things “the right way”. I have always looked young and when people would stare at me as I pushed a stroller, I felt shame. So I tried really hard to be this super awesome, mature and extremely responsible person, so people would think all of those things about me. But now I know that I am different and that is alright. I don’t have to pretend to be something that I am not. Some days I get a lot of things done around the house. Some days I get almost nothing done around the house. Some days I do fun awesome things with my kids and some days I just want them to just go play and leave me alone. Some days are really good and some days are really bad and some days are just eh!

Parenting is Hard!

This was what we looked like after grocery shopping on Saturday!

So today I am stepping out into the open to say this: There is no right or wrong way to do things. There is no system out there that works for everyone. Some days you are going to be Suzy homemaker and some days will leave you wishing for a convertible and a beach. Okay, a lot of days. So this is what I am trying so hard to do. Let go of any expectations that I have of myself and just try to be my best self every day. What that means is that I wake up and I have things that I know must be done that day. Like sending out the rent check, making sure there is food to eat, or making sure everyone at least has clean underwear! For now I am letting go of the lists and just doing what I can each day. If I get the house clean, or take the kids somewhere fun, do crafts and painting, don’t yell at anyone, don’t lose my patience, cook an awesome meal, then I had a good day. If I am unable to do anything that day and feel bitter then I have probably let the demons who tell me that I am not good enough in that day. And I need to give myself a break and stop being so tough and trying too hard.

So the pressure is off. No more unrealistic expectations.No more stress about being perfect or looking way too young to have a kid going into high school. Or worrying what people think about the fact that I have four kids. And I am not going to feel guilty about all of the things that I haven’t gotten done. I am going to try to feel good about the things that I have done and press on every day and try to be what I can be that day. I hope you will too and by the way I love all of the cute things that we all post on Facebook etc., because we are just excited that we did something cool and share worthy that day. But when you go through your posts instead of envy thinking that this woman must do this cool stuff all of the time, remember that she has really crappy days too. She posted this today because it was a positive thing and it made her feel good about herself and silently congratulate her because we all know how hard being a parent really is.

Meal Plan Wednesdays

 

 

I am changing things up a bit, as the sale posts can be very time consuming and you can download the apps on your phone! I currently have the Kroger, Sprouts, and Publix apps on my phone. You can create a grocery list(checking it off as you shop), clip coupons, even order online right from your phone. So, I will be creating one grocery/meal plan post each week, with recipes, so I can also expand to other content on my site. Aldi has an app as well, but it isn’t quite as versatile as the other apps and you can try it out as well.

So here are this weeks meal plans by store:

 

Sprouts:

Baked Spaghetti – remember this is really easy – Boil your noodles, cook your meat, add sauce. Combine all ingredients in a 13×9 pan and top with Italian Blend Cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes. Quinoa Noodles are on sale if your are gluten free. If you are Dairy Free- grab a bag of Daiya.

Taco Tuesday – with tomatoes, avocado, carne asada, and grass fed beef on sale, whip up some yummy tacos. Hint: Cook the carne asada in the crock pot on low all day with some Mexican seasoning and a little water.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin with fried apples and Roasted Cauliflower

Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Dinner 

BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Roast Squash and Zucchini

 

Publix:

Crock Pot Roast

Taco Tuesday – Ground Beef, Cilantro, Avocado, and Jalapenos are all on sale this week.

Sour Kraut and Sausage – This is really easy as well. Slice the sausage and brown. Add the sour kraut and stir in 2 tblsp of brown sugar to tame the sour down a bit. Cook on low for about 10 – 15 minutes. This pairs well with mac and cheese.

Easy and Kid Friendly Lasagna

Pizza Night

 

Kroger:

Pizza Night – DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, and Kroger Deli Pizza are on sale

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin

Baked Spaghetti (see instructions above)

Crock Pot Roast

Sausage and Egg Muffins with Hashbrowns and Berries

 

Aldi:

Pizza Night

Taco Tuesday

Easy Pork Chops and Eggs

Italian Style Stuffed Meatballs, Cous Cous and Spring Mix Salad

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks – (Bake at 350 for about 30 -40 minutes, baste with BBQ sauce and put under broiler for about 2 -3 minutes.) Mac and Cheese and Salad

I really hope you like the new format. Give me some feedback in the comments and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aldi Deals and Meals

Aldi has some good produce and meat deals this week. They also have a wine and party snack sale going on. Might be a good place to grab an easy appetizer for a party.

Here are my picks for the week:

Pineapple – $1.49

Blackberries or Cranberries – .99

Organic Gala Apples 3lb bag – $3.99

Organic Baby Spinach – $2.49

Medjool Dates – $2.99

Brussels Sprouts – $1.49

Mandarins 3lb bag – $2.99

Family Pack Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – $1.69/lb

Beef Sirloin Tip Roast – $3.99/lb

Bone In Ribeye Roast – $6.99/lb

Butter – $2.29

Cream Cheese – .79

Sout Cream – .89

Crescent Rolls – .99

Simply Nature Organic Chicken Broth – $1.49

Appleton Farms Bite Size Salami – $2.99

Cranberry White Cheddar Cheese – $2.99

Specially Selected Hand Rolled Goat Cheese Log – $3.99 (I love Goat Cheese)

Artisan Crackers – $2.99

Prosciutto Di Parma – $4.49

Stuffed Olives – $3.29

 

Here are your Meal Ideas: 

Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Dinner – (Brussels for the veggie)

Crock Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots 

(while not on sale, Aldi usually has good prices on ground beef so, here are some meals using ground beef)

Baked Spaghetti – this is so easy, just combine your noodles and meat and sauce mixture in a 13×9 pan and sprinkle with Italian Blend Cheese – Bake for 20 – 30 minutes at 350.

Enchilada Casserole -This is a big hit at our house and something your littles can help with!

 

 

 

Sprouts Weekly Deals and Meal Ideas

Sprouts has some great produce and meat deals as usual this week. They also have a $10 off any $50 purchase coupon! So be sure to grab an ad on your way into the store. That could definitely be useful if you are looking to stock up on your meat, as that can really add up quickly.

I don’t typically blog about vitamins, but they have quite a few supplements on sale this week. So you may want to mosy on over to those aisles. The reason I mention it is because I picked up a thyroid supplement two weeks ago and it has helped tremendously with my energy level.  I also noticed that the Herb Pharm Anxiety Soother is 20% off, I know I have recommended this to friends with anxiety. So if that is something that you struggle with, you might go grab a bottle and try it out.

Here are my picks for this week:

 

Pineapples – .98 ea.

Grapefruit and Mangos – 2/$1

Cuties 2lb bag – 2/$5

Sprouts Organic Salads – 2/$5

Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, or Raspberries – 2/$5

Purple,Green,Orange or White Cauliflower – .98/lb  (Never knew about purple or green cauliflower)

Fuji Apples – .98/lb

Pears – .88/lb

Red, Yellow, or Orange Bell Peppers – 4/$5

On the Vine tomatoes – 4lbs/$5

Hothouse Cucumbers or Baby Peedled Carrots 4/$5

In the Bulk Aisles:

Rolled, Quick or Steel Cut Oats – .69/lb

Pecan Halves or Pieces – $9.99/lb

Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips – $3.99/lb

Dried Cranberries – $1.99/lb

Bulk Baking Essentials – 25% off

Coffee Beans – $7.99/lb

 

Vital Farms Eggs 18 ct – $5.99

Vital Farms Butter – $2.99

Simply Juice – 2/$7

California Farms Almond Milk – $2.99

Vans Waffles – 2/$5

Horizon Organic Milk – 2/$7

The Spice Hunter Spices – 50% off

Sprouts EVOO – $5.99

Sprouts Organic Broth – 3/$5

Wholesome Organic Sweeteners – 35% off

Sprouts Baking Essentials  2/$5

Bob’s Red Mill Flour – 2/$6

Beef Rib Roast – $7.99/lb

Pork Loin Roast – $2.99/lb

Chicken or Pork Sausage  $2.99/lb

Pork Shoulder Roast – $1.99/lb

Grass Fed Beef – $4.99/lb

Chicken Tenders or Thighs – $1.77/lb

Here are your Meal Ideas:

Unstuffed Egg Rolls

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin  with a salad and fried apples

Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast or Crock Pot Roast

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner  (Maybe try some of that colorful cauliflower roasted)

Comment or leave a photo if you tried something and loved it! Bonus points if the kids ate it too!

 

 

Crock Pot Roast

This roast is one of my favorite, easy crock pot meals. The meat comes out so tender and  the veggies melt in your mouth. It is also great served with homemade Buttermilk Biscuits. (Or you can grab the frozen ones, which are good too)

 

Crock Pot Roast
Rate this recipe

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 bag red potatoes (or white or
  • yellow or sweet)
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 1 pot roast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp 21 season mix (if you have, if not you should find some!)

Instructions

  1. Cut onion in fourths and put in the bottom of crock pot.
  2. Pour Carrot bag in.
  3. Cut potatoes in half or fourths depending on how large they are. Add to crock pot.
  4. Sprinkle Half the Seasonings on the Veggies and stir to mix.
  5. Add the pot roast to the crock pot and pour in the broth.
  6. Then sprinkle the rest of the seasonings on the roast and rub in.
  7. Turn the crock pot on it's lowest setting and cook all day.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/crock-pot-roast/

You will love walking in your house after work, knowing that you don’t have to cook tonight! It’s already done, and your whole house will smell delicious!

 

 

 

 

Kroger Weekly Deals and Meal Ideas

This week at Kroger there are some great sales on meal items. It looks like there are some really easy meals to be made this week! A few things to remember about Kroger are: You need the plus card to get their sale prices. The app is a great tool to use to create your shopping list and add coupons. They also have Clicklist, which will allow you to get groceries without stepping foot in the store.  Finally, you can also order from Kroger on the Shipt app. The prices are higher and you do have to have a Shipt membership. However, you have a personal shopper and it is delivered to you. Use my link when you sign up and get free groceries!

Here are my picks for the week:

Atlantic Slamon Sides – $7.99/lb

Boneless Half Pork Loin – .99/lb !!!

Boneless Pork Chops – $3.49/lb

Perdue Boneless Chicken Breasts – $2.99/lb

Ground Round or Angus Ground Sirloin – $4.99/lb

Kroger Meatballs, Ground Pork, or Kroger Brats/Italian Sausage – $2.99

Kroger Shrimp Platter – $12.99

Standing Rib Eye Roast – $6.99/lb

Tennessee Pride Breakfast Sausage – 2/$6

Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies – 2/$5

Boars Head Sweet Slice Ham – $6.99/lb

Alexia Potatoes – 2/$6

Birds Eye Vegetables – BOGO

Kroger Frozen Vegetables – 10/$10

Kroger Frozen Potatoes – $1.69

Sister Schubert’s Rolls – $2.99

Del Monte Vegetables – BOGO

Kraft Natural Cheese – BOGO

Kroger Butter – $2.99

Kroger Sour Cream or Cottage Cheese – 4/$5

Kroger Shredded Cheese or Slices – $1.77

Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Pillsbury Crescents, or Sweet Rolls – 3/$5

Tropicana – $2.69

Kroger Spices – BOGO

Pacific Foods – 2/$5

Simple Truth Cage Free Eggs and Simply Juice – 2/$5

Simple Truth Organic Spices – 33%

Starbucks Coffee or K-cups – $5.99

Tostitos – 2/$5

Hawaiian Dinner Rolls – 2/$6

Handi – foil Large Roasting or Baking Pans – 2/$6

Brocolli – $1.49/lb

California Clementines – $4.99

Jumbo Russet Potatoes – $2.99

Kale, Turnip, Collard, or Mustard Greens – .99

Large Pineapple – 3/$5

Organic Celery – $1.49

Raspberries or Blackberries – 2/$5

Simple Truth Organic Salad – 2/$6

Sweet Potatoes – .49/lb

Here are your meal ideas:

Sausage Egg Muffins with Fruit and Hashbrowns

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Hawaiian Roll Sandwiches and Sweet Potato Fries with Aoli (you don’t have to use all the ingredients in the sandwiches for them to be good. Ham, cheese, and mustard are delicious also!)

Crock Pot Roast

 

Happy Shopping!!

 

 

Sprouts Weekly Deals and Meal Ideas

Sprouts has some great produce deals this week! There are also many options in the meat department as well. Here are my picks:

Clementines – $3.88/ 5lb box

Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers – .88 ea.

Pineapples – 2/$5

Grapefruit – .88 ea.

Gala and Granny Smith Apples – .98/lb

Organic Hass Avocados – .88 ea. !!!

Brocolli Crowns and Cauliflower – .98/lb

Taylor Farms Chopped Salad Kits – 2/$6

Spaghetti Squash – .88/lb

Gourmet Stuffed Chicken Breasts – $2.99/lb

Whole Chicken – $1.59/lb

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – $1.67/lb

Ground Beef 80% lean – $2.67/lb

Baby Back or St.Louis Style Ribs – $2.99/lb

Boneless Chuck Roast  $4.99/lb

EZ Peel Large Raw Shrimp – $5.99/lb

Organic Coconut Sugar – $3.99/lb (Bulk)

Green or Red Lentils – .99/lb (Bulk)

Sprouts Pasta – .99

Sprouts Organic Quinoa – $2.99

Sprouts Butter – $2.99

Sprouts Cage Free Eggs – $2.99

Daiya Dairy Free Cheese Alternatives – 2/$6  (These are actually not too bad)

Stonyfield Organic Yogurt – $2.99

Tropicana Orange Juice – $2.99

Sprouts Appetizers – 2/$7

Sprouts Stevia  – BOGO

The Deli also has quite a few trays on sale this week, so you may want to check that out if you have a party coming up.

Here are your meal ideas:

If you like lentils or want to try something healthier, here is a recipe for you: Chicken Lentil Soup

With the Bell Peppers being on sale it is a great time to try my Stuffed Bell Peppers recipe.

You could also try this Goulash recipe from Paula Deen  – I don’t use 2 lbs of ground beef, I only use one. I use Beef Broth instead of water. Instead of house seasoning, I use 21 season mix, and about 1/2 tsp. of garlic and onion powder. Sometimes I leave out the onion, and I only use 1 tbsp. of the Italian Seasoning. However I make it, my family always loves it. Except Caleb of course, it isn’t pizza after all.

Try out my Quinoa Tacos

Grab some Chicken and a Taylor Farms Chipotle Salad Mix- Bake your chicken and slice, serve it with the salad.  The chicken can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated.

Last but not least, give these kid friendly Egg Muffins a try!

I would love to see what you decide to make, leave a comment below!

Ahi Tuna Tacos

 

The other day in my Sprouts post, I mentioned that they had Ahi Tuna on sale this week. I also promised to buy and try it out and post the recipe. Well here it is!!

A few years ago, Josh and I went out on a date to an adult theater. No, not that kind of theater! Shame on you!! It was a 21 and up movie theater with a full bar and offered dinner while watching your movie. It was awesome, and they really should open one here in Nashville. Anyway, I decided to try the Ahi Tuna Tacos. At that point in my life the only tuna I knew about was canned tuna. So you can imagine my surprise when my tacos come out with this huge red thing inside them. I thought it was a tomato! Seriously! Well it wasn’t a tomato, it was the tuna. And it was so good!

Since then, I have tried many delicious fish tacos(and some not so delicious), but none have quite lived up to that first one. So I stepped out of my cooking comfort zone last night, and made my own version. I don’t mean to brag, but they were awesome. Josh loved them, and even Kate tried (and liked) the tuna. The tuna was also so easy to cook, I don’t really know what I was worried about.

First I cut the tuna into about 8 pieces. I had about a pound of the tuna.

 

 Then, I sprinkled salt and Mexican Seasoning on all sides of the fish. Then I cooked it in melted butter and olive oil for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. (That will be rare and the middle will still be a reddish pink, it’s ok!)
Next, I made my homemade pico/salsa.

 

Then, I used a little chipotle salad mix for the slaw, and added about a teaspoon of apple cider vinager to it.

Finally I warmed the tortillas in the oven at 350 for about 3-5 minutes.

I layered the fish, pico, and cabbage mix. Then I drizzled a little Marie’s Chipotle Ranch over that.

Then I sprinkled a little cheese on top. I forgot to grab one, but Avocado would have been an awesome addition!

Here is the recipe:
Ahi Tuna Tacos
Rate this recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bag white corn tortillas
  • 1 lb Ahi Tuna
  • 1 carton cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 small bowl of cabbage slaw or a salad with cabbage
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Marie's Creamy Chipotle Ranch
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mexican Seasoning Mix (or you could mix a little cumin and chili powder)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Melt the butter and warm olive oil over low heat in a skillet.
  3. Meanwhile in a food processor, first pulse the onion a couple of times, then add the cilantro and pulse again.
  4. Finally pour in the carton of tomatoes and turn food processor on until everything is finely chopped. Stir.
  5. Pour in the lime juice.
  6. Salt and Pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. Mix about a (cereal bowl) of the slaw mixture with the apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  8. Coat the fish in a little salt and Mexican Seasoning Mix.
  9. Cook in skillet on medium-high heat for about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  10. Put your tortillas on a cookie sheet and warm in oven for about 3-5 minutes.
  11. Finally layer fish, pico, slaw mix, chipotle ranch, cheese, and optional Avocado or Jalapenos.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/ahi-tuna-tacos/