Meal plan for the week of 1/16

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. day here in the US and I’m grateful to be spending the holiday with family, easing into what will likely be a challenging week (what, with the Inauguration and all).  I was reading through old posts inspired by Dr. King (including this one about my visit to Memphis, the Civil Rights Museum + the Lorraine Motel) this morning and couldn’t help feel both lifted and distressed.  

Dr. King’s words (and the example he set through his actions) about service to one another, unselfish leadership, peaceful vigilance, and creative resistance have (for better or worse) such application today.  Whether or not you have the day off, I hope you have a few minutes for quiet contemplation about the days ahead, and the person you can be for others.  Oh, and I highly recommend blasting James Taylor’s Shed a Little Light and Patty Griffin’s Up to the Mountain.  Grace and I spent a solid half hour dancing in the kitchen, singing along.

Is it weird to go from that to talking about this week’s meal plan?  Probably.  Sorry.  I’m having trouble coming up with a graceful segue.   Here’s a salad.

meal plan for the week of 1/16

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK of 1/16

I’m on such an arugula kick lately.  We stopped by the Orleans Winter Farmers’ Market Saturday morning and picked up several bunches.  I love that peppery flavor. 

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Re-reading Dr. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail
  • Heading back to the city
  • Getting in a quick MB workout courtesy of my challenge partner 😉

What are you looking forward to whipping up this week?

Currently | January 2017

 

CURRENTLY | JANUARY 2017

currently january 2017

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I’ve finally recovered from President Obama’s Farewell Address… which was Tuesday night (i.e. nearly 48 hours ago).  

Baby Nick woke up bawling just seconds after the President said “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson, girl of the South Side…”  I was bawling at that point too, cradling my sweet child, grateful that both our children were born at a time when such an incredibly smart, respectful, kind and caring family lived in our nation’s White House.  I am doing my best during these remaining days of Barack Obama’s presidency to watch every video of the President + kids, the President + dogs, and the President + VP (especially today’s Medal of Freedom presentation) as humanly possible… rather than give into the sadness and anger simmering below the surface (real talk).

Also, it was snowing and single digits this weekend… but it’s 55 degrees in Boston today.  The world is ending.

On that uplifting note…

CURRENTLY EATING

currently eating

  • Variations of the Sprouted Kitchen lentil soup I raved about a couple weeks ago
  • Simple snacks to share with Baby Nick… because these days, he has major food FOMO and needs to sample any/everything on my plate.  Blackberries and cottage cheese have been a big hit this week.
  • All the winter citrus, all the winter citrus, all the winter citrus… put your stems up. (Or whatever.) I especially love satsumas, and not just because you can buy them with the leaves and stems still attached.

CURRENTLY DRINKING

currently drinking

  • Water (obvi)
  • Not a single Diet Coke today (not so obvi)
  • Fiveway Veggie Broth (definitely unexpected) – I received a complimentary sample right before the holidays and am totally hooked on this incredibly flavorful broth, which you can straight up drink from the bottle.  I like warming it up on the stove and drinking from my beloved “BC Grandpa” mug, it’s both delcious and fortifying.  Non-vegetarians will likely dig their bone broths.  Fiveway products can be found locally in Massachusetts + New Hampshire.

CURRENTLY MAKING

currently making

  • More gouache chairs
  • Plans for Grace’s “unicorns doing gymnastics” birthday party 
  • Finishing my tutorial for the upcoming Get Messy Art Journal season (***stay tuned for a membership giveaway coming soon!)

CURRENTLY WEARING

currently wearing

  • Bean boots (the ones without laces, because I’m lazy stylish) + Bean boots socks (so cozy) + a smug smile for having ordered them early enough in the year to beat the inevitable selling out (at last check, there were still sizes 9 + 10 available)
  • My new FitBit (a Christmas present from Nick), the Charge 2 special edition (lavender + rose gold, so pretty) — I really liked the Charge HR, but there are so many design/functional improvements in this version.  I especially like the 2 minute guided breathing program.  People like me need tiny wrist computers to remind them to breathe.  

CURRENTLY WATCHING

currently watching

  • The babes enjoy winter… it’s just the best.  Nick, Grace, Baby Nick, Clark and I had so much fun being snowed in down the Cape last weekend.  I love watching the kids and Clark explore in the yard. I’m so grateful that we have an escape from the city (and that we have the city to return to, as well).

 

CURRENTLY LOVING

currently loving

We’re only two weeks into the year… but things are good.  And so are you.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Playing “You have a skunk in your clothes! Get the shovel!” with Grace (I don’t really know how to play, I just follow her lead and yell those two sentences over and over)
  • Busting some behind closed doors clutter with Apartment Therapy
  • Looking for a new book to read

What’ve you been up to this month?

Meal plan for the week of 1/8

After a relaxing, snowed-in weekend at the Cape, we are back in the city + I’m pretending to be ready to take on the week.  

meal plan week of 1/8

Salad is from, um, my fridge… wooden pineapple is from Homegoods.

The laundry’s done, the gas tank is full, workouts are scheduled + I even blocked out some time for painting this week.  I apparently only imagined I did the dishes and I have lost all motivation to unpack… but hey.  Can’t win ’em all.

I found last week’s meal plan was really helpful in my efforts to not eat Cheez-It-type-things for dinner.  It motivated me to try a few new recipes and revisit some old favorites. So here I am, avoiding the dishes and cooking up this week’s meal plan.

MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK of 1/8

  • Salads and veggie wraps for lunch
  • Lemon potato chowder from The Kitchn (I’ll vegetarian-ify it with vegetable broth, obvi) 
  • Quinoa caprese salad (or quinoa caprese bake… TBD)
  • Spinach, sweet potato and black bean quesadillas on Ezekial tortillas
  • Some sort of lentil soup (can’t stop, won’t stop with the piping hot lentil soups… until, like, at least April)
  • Make-ahead snacks + breakfasts: chai protein bites, garlic + dill kale chips, baked oatmeal 

I know some people prefer to plan meals for specific days (and maybe one day I will be that organized slash maybe one day my children will keep a reliable routine lasting longer than three days), but for now a more flexible approach seems to work well.  

I like being able to look at a fairly limited list (as opposed to searching through an entire cookbook, or the entire internet, or my entire memory of anything I’ve ever made or eaten), assessing what I have time and energy for, and making whichever option makes the most sense. This generally indecisive lady is all about limited (yet delicious) choices.

Plus… taking the guesswork out of what to make each night leaves me with just enough extra time to, you know, come up with an excuse to not do the dishes.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • 5 ways to keep your fridge clean + organized from The Kitchn
  • Celebrating a belated Christmas with my family, now that we’ve all survived the stomach bug that tried to take down the entire city of Boston
  • Ice skating in my driveway (but not on purpose)

What are your favorite sources for new recipes or meal planning tips?

The aforementioned purple chair.

Here’s the aforementioned purple chair I painted earlier this week.

aforementioned purple chair

Materials: Gouache, giant new square sketchbook (Seawhite Hardback Artists Sketchbook)

I imagine this is what Prince sits in while chilling in Heaven (and can we talk, solemnly, about the all star jam band Jesus formed in 2016…).  I got carried away with the cushion tufting, but hey. 

That’s one of the (many?) good things about imaginary purple-rain-inspired chairs.  You can get carried away with the cushion tufting and just pretend that’s how you intended it to look.  And then you can blow up your own spot and tell the internet that it was actually a mistake.  Because you were distracted by Bridget Jones’s Baby.

Please don’t be too intimidated by my high brow taste in movies films.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • I’m thrilled to share that I am on the 2017 Creative Team for the Get Messy Art Journal Community – – if you’re looking for a warm + enthusiastic crew and inspiration for regular art-making… check ’em out (all are welcome!)
  • For the record: the movie was cute, but generally… just okay (same goes for the chair…)
  • Why Being Warm is Better Than Just Being Polite from lifehacker

Who would you want in your all star jam band (on Earth, or otherwise)?

Things to do in January

I don’t know about you, but putting away the holiday decorations nearly does me in every January.  The gloomy weather and a cold I can’t seem to kick (kids and their germs, I tell ya) aren’t helping.  

Winter Elizabeth is a lot less fun than Summer Elizabeth.

things to do in january

Semi-related: Winter Elizabeth somehow lost one of her children’s birth certificates. Not my finest work.  Hence, baby Nick and I made our way to the registry office at City Hall today.  As much as I would have rather stayed home, curled up on the sofa with a blanket and a book…

  1. One-year-olds don’t do that.  They just don’t.
  2. An object in motion stays in motion… while staying put is a great way to lose momentum.  And I’d already lost the birth certificate, so…

I couldn’t help but brighten up a bit as we approached City Hall, though.  I love the juxtaposition of old and new less old buildings.  I like seeing tourists milling about. I like the buzz of it all.  

Once we finished the grown-up business part of our outing, I figured we may as well embrace a bit of adventure, too.  We were bundled up and had plenty of snacks, why not?

mother juice unicorn blood

We split a cup of Unicorn Blood (yes, really… it’s a delicious mix of beet, carrot, celery, watermelon + pineapple) from Mother Juice at the Boston Public Market, walked along the Greenway and did some people watching at Faneuil Hall.  A little adventure was the perfect antidote to my winter mood.

matthew hoffman greenway art

So good, right?  Click to learn more about MAY THIS NEVER END by artist Matthew Hoffman currently installed along the Greenway.

For me, keeping busy (especially with good, fun, interesting things… not just boring, necessary things) goes a long way in keeping the winter blues at bay.  In that vain, here are a few things to do in January.

THINGS TO DO IN JANUARY

  • Get outside for a walk to improve your mood + overall health.
  • Take an art class. (Creative Bug is my favorite source for online classes– I gravitate toward the painting and drawing classes, but you’ll find really accessible courses on knitting, sewing, collage, drawing, etc.)
  • Or take a yoga class.
  • Join in a day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  You can find projects in your community here.
  • Put together a new playlist (Stevie Wonder on repeat here currently).
  • Celebrate an obscure January holiday (I’ve got big plans for National Popcorn Day on the 19th… mostly, my plans involve me + eating popcorn).
  • Unpack your holiday decorations.  No one can deny the magic of twinkle lights.
  • Ride the subway (i.e. the T) sans pants… or don’t. 
  • Spend an afternoon at a museum.  The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and The Clark Art Institute are my (Massachusetts) favorites and I’ve been dying to take the kids to the Children’s Museum.  
  • Refresh your walls with some new (or DIY) artwork.  What you look at all day matters, obvi.
  • Get outside for another walk.

P.S. While the acronym SAD is sort of laughable, Seasonal Affectedness Disorder and winter depression are no joke.  Please don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it. <3

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your January to do list?

Oh buoy.

Oh buoy.

oh buoy

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

These beauties are on the side of Capt. Cass Seafood, at Rock Harbor in Orleans.  I think this would be a fun scene to paint… one of these days.  In the meantime, I’ve cracked open a new sketchbook + some gouache and painted a wonky purple chair.  It’s the first time I’ve painted something start to finish in ages.  But both babes were asleep and our condo was mostly under control and I’m sure there were 40 other things I should have been doing, but I chose to paint instead.

Because when creative inspiration strikes, it’s best to *seas* the moment… get it?  Seas…. buoys… Lord, help me.  

I spent 10 or so minutes earlier this week brainstorming things I wanted to paint, write about, cook, read, watch, learn more about, listen to and create.  I’m hoping that list will help ward off my next creative low tide (there I go again).  

Perhaps you’ll think about making a similar list?

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s inspiring you today?

 

Grocery haul + meal plan

Current forecast: Soup weather.

grocery haul meal plan

Baby Nick and I broke from our usual routine (mid-week shopping at Whole Foods) and hit up Wegman’s on our way home from our first Mama Beast workout of the year.  He was very interested in the samples and the train set that is suspended over the hummus area. I was mostly overwhelmed by the crowds and had trouble finding, basically, everything.  True Life: I am intensely a creature of habit.  

Here’s what we picked up.

GROCERY HAUL

  • Produce: Baby spinach, 2 seedless cucumbers, 4 apples, 2 lemons, 1 lime, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, 2 sweet potatoes, shredded carrots, normal carrots, riced cauliflower, 3 bell peppers, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, spring mix with herbs, cherry tomatoes, 2 avocados, garlic, yellow onion, red onion
  • Frozen: Brown rice, Ezekiel bread + tortillas
  • Dairy: Milk for baby Nick, Stonyfield organic yogurt for Nick and Grace, unsweetened vanilla almond milk for me, Chobani yogurt dip, fresh mozzarella 
  • Grocery: 2 cans of organic black beans, Cheerios for the babes, Erewhon g/f rice cereal for me, dried lentils, apple sauce, almonds, walnuts
  • Random: Lemon + dill hummus, 1 salt bagel (see also: shopping while hungry), g/f pretzels for me, pretzel sticks for Grace
  • Meat: Grass-fed beef for Nick 

And here’s what I plan to make this week…

MEAL PLAN

  • Cauliflower rice + beans (made this tonight — super easy and satisfying): sautéed cauliflower with a tsp of olive oil, plus salt + pepper, topped with black beans, sautéed onion + garlic with Cajun spices, cherry tomatoes + cilantro.
  • Baked stuffed sweet potatoes (with black beans, simple homemade salsa + guacamole)
  • Salads and veggie wraps for lunch
  • This delicious lentil soup from Sprouted Kitchen (h/t to my friend Laura for sharing the recipe) – I’ve made it twice in the last week (pictured above) and cannot get enough of it.  
  • Apple + sharp cheddar quesadillas on sprouted tortillas

Oh, and avocado toast… because I catch on to trends six months late.  At the earliest. 

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you cooking up this week?

 

A worthy resolution

You know when it’s 10:04 PM on New Year’s Eve and you’re in bed Googling “New Year’s resolutions”…?  

The thing is, I can’t really remember ever keeping a resolution past February (mostly, I am drinking a Diet Coke as I type this… sorry, 2012.  And 2014.  And 2015.).  

And those I do remember making were ones I didn’t feel terribly about breaking (hence the lack of motivation for keeping them).  So I set out (at nearly the 11th hour) to find a worthy resolution — one I could really work on keeping– for 2017.

a worthy resolution

Grace is basically a tiny fashion blogger. Minus the fashion blog.

This struck a chord for me:

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” 

–Göran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden

A worthy resolution, indeed.

I still plan to set monthly goals and intentions, but as we head into 2017, I want to more fully embrace our connectedness.  I want to put more energy towards service than I do towards cynicism and fear.  I want to be a more compassionate, gentle, kind + openhearted person.

And ideally, I’d like to stop eating Cheez-Its for dinner.  

Also On Tap for Today:

Are you setting goals/intentions/Harry Potter spells/resolutions?

Winter rest

This time between Christmas and the New Year has turned into the perfect little winter rest.  Nick had a few days off from work, we let Grace play preschool hooky for the week, and welp… baby Nick, Clark and I live on a very flexible schedule that revolves around naps and snack time.  And laundry.  But mostly snack time.

winter rest

We’ve been hiding out (but not really, because everyone knows we’re here) down the Cape, watching the birds.  And eating soup.  Hanging up some artwork and setting up a basement gym.  Reading my favorite Wendell Berry poem and resting.  Binge-watching Super Store once the kids are in bed.  Coloring and playing trains.  Trying to perfect my recycling system.  Hunkering down and staying in.

The largest part of me is an optimist and is fed by hope.  But there’s that tiny part of me that is cynical and practical and maybe even a little wary.  So I’m grateful for this week, this winter rest, both because it seems like the perfect end to an imperfect year… and because I know that time like this will give me a deeper well to draw from in the future. 

That favorite poem I mentioned (you can hear Wendell Berry read it here) starts like this, “When despair for the world grows in me…”

And it ends like this, “For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

So that’s where I will be until 2017.  Resting.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Spending a few hours at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History before it closes for the winter
  • 5 heart-opening yoga poses for the new year from mindbodygreen
  • Performing a very scientific experiment involving a waffle maker + cinnamon rolls

How do you keep your well of sanity/balance/happiness/gratitude/Cheez-Its full (or at least, not empty)?

O Holy Night

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m listening to O Holy Night on repeat (this is my absolute favorite version, one I’ve shared the last few years, I think).  Granted, I’ve sort of been doing that since before Halloween… but whatever.  Some years you just need more Christmas music than others.

o holy night

I took this photo at a lovely vintage shop on the Cape called Gatherings by the Sea (isn’t that a great name?).  I’m pretending that’s why my current elf workshop situation looks like.  

Amidst the toys and socks and sink full of dishes and errant wrapping paper tubes, baby Nick is peacefully napping (safely, like, in his crib… not under piles of laundry).  And Grace is talking about how camels probably don’t fit in the manger, but they should try to come in any way, because baby Jesus loves camels.  And I’m listening to O Holy Night with the fullest heart.

Wishing you a similarly perfectly unperfect Christmas.  And a happy first night of Hanukkah.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Cookie butter rolls: sounds like Christmas breakfast to me from Food52
  • Looking forward to lots of family time!
  • Trying to find the Christmas pjs…

What is your Christmas looking like?