Weekly Meal Plan: July 30 — August 5

My life is just a series of countdowns at the moment. Count down to the next appointment, to our baby shower, to my due date (if he even takes that into consideration when he decides to pop out into the world). So much waiting.

My skin is stretched to the max and it hurts, my back is already killing me from lugging around this weight, and the little guy likes to push random body parts out and make my belly all lumpy and sometimes hurt. Is that a foot in my ribs? Is that his head or his spine making one side of my bump way bigger than the other? Who knows.

We went out yesterday for our four year dating anniversary. Nothing big to celebrate, just a trip to the mall and we got some Red Robin for the first time. I must say I’m impressed and definitely want to go back there. Food is literally all I can think of, it’s super annoying. Another countdown, time to my next snack or meal.

I’ve been trying to eat healthy. Right now this baby is probably 50% made of melons, 40% ice cream, and 10% real food. I plan on cutting out the ice cream right away once he’s born so that with the breastfeeding will hopefully drop the baby weight. I gotta set a good example for him too. On that note, come back tomorrow for a really cool book review.

What we’re eating this week:

Super Food Rotini (pictured) — Adapted very loosely from this recipe, I wanted to try it out before making it a freezer/crock pot meal, so I took all the ingredients and cooked it on the stove.

Sausage and Creamy Pesto Pasta — This just looks delicious, I love pesto and creamy pasta dishes.

Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Skillet — I have a ton of chicken that I got on sale so not only am I going to make some more freezer meals, but we need to eat a bunch too.

Honey and Soy Pork — I love converting easy baked chicken dishes into pork dishes, I’m never too satisfied with recipes for pork chops.

OMG Chicken — I’ve had this recipe a long time but I haven’t made it in forever. Sounds delicious. Serving both of these last meals with some kind of rice or couscous side, maybe some vegetables.

Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children #58

Welcome to my weekly throwback book review! Each week I’ll be rereading and reviewing one or two books from my childhood. I was a huge reader as a child and these books shaped my life. I couldn’t possibly get rid of them, so I still have a large collection that I am sharing with all of you in the form of reviews.

#58 The Mystery at the Alamo: Right on the heels of their big trip to San Francisco, with no mention of it whatsoever, the kids and their grandfather take a trip to San Antonio to visit the Alamo, because their grandfather has a friend there. As always. Man this guy knows a lot of people. They are unable to take a tour of the Alamo because there’s a movie being shot on the premises, so they go over to watch.

The second they step foot on the set, the director hires the children to be extras, and asks them to recruit another boy as well, 14 year old Antonio, named after the city. The five children meet the cast and crew of the movie and don’t even get a chance to settle in before things start to go wrong.

Jessie is instructed to hand a bouquet of flowers to the leading lady Claire, who immediately starts sneezing because someone added ragweed to the bouquet. Violet identifies the offending plant and it is removed. In their next scene, the steps on the set break as Claire walks down them. Either she wants to be fired so she can return to LA, or someone has it out for her.

There are plenty of suspects, from her understudy who would love to take her part to the leading man who wants more lines. The children are determined to get to the bottom of it.

Things continue to go wrong every day, all geared to make Claire look bad. Finally, a ring is borrowed from the museum to be used in the movie, and it goes missing, resulting in the police being called and the movie in jeopardy of being shut down. The children have their suspicions, so they follow one of the actors, the leading man’s stand-in, to a diner where he discusses getting Claire fired with her agent, so she could go film another movie. Mystery solved.

I have a lot of thoughts on this book. I liked this one growing up because I was born in Texas, and we took a trip to the Alamo after I read it. I was really excited to see the ring featured in the book (I don’t remember if I actually did). I have questions about the movie they’re shooting. Why did they have to film it on location? Is it a fictional movie or a documentary? Because they state that Claire is playing a woman who was at the Alamo, and the man is playing Davy Crockett. But at some points in the movie filming, Claire is giving the children a tour of the Alamo museum and talking about the history. It’s a bit strange.

Also, this cover. First of all, that picture of the boys is going to suck if she’s taking it from that close up, and they’re not even looking at her. And what is up with that camera? This book was published in 1997, and I’ve never seen a modern camera that looks like that, it almost looks like a camcorder. Their grandfather takes the film to be developed in an hour as well, that camera doesn’t look modern enough to be able to do that.

Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni


I downloaded this book during an ebook sale quite a while ago and just now got around to reading it. I was not compensated for this review in any way.

Bernadette is tired of being the fat one. The fat friend, the fat sister, she’s just tired of it. She’s leaving for NYU at the end of the summer and she’s determined that this summer is going to be the summer she gets fit. She goes to a gym to get a personal trainer but is disappointed at how expensive it is. That is, until the owner’s son catches her and offers to train her himself for half the price.

Warren is a tough coach, but he doesn’t let her give up. He puts her on a diet and has her out of bed at 6 am to work out. At least he’s nice to look at. They get closer and closer over the summer as Bernadette loses the weight and gains confidence in herself. Except he’s not the only one to notice the change…

She reaches out to a boy she met on a school trip that she ended up sleeping with, as she feels they never got closure. Fred is very interested in reconnecting and she looks forward to the day they can meet again when he’s in town. Except she can’t get Warren out of her head either.

Bernadette spends the summer improving herself and her relationships, including bonding with her twin sister who she had grown apart from. Both guys have their own secrets, so that’s not an easy decision for her to make, but she has the help of her friends.

This book left off on a serious cliffhanger, which I hate, but I do like her journey and where she is at the end of the book (pre-cliffhanger). The two guys into the same girl (that we’re supposed to consider unattractive) thing is a bit overdone but unlike most books, I feel like she made the right choice and didn’t get hung up over the decision and string us along.



Weekly Meal Plan: July 23 – July 29


Things are really ramping up to the last couple of months before the baby gets here. Tomorrow is our two year wedding anniversary and last Saturday we went into Boston to celebrate. I wanted to go on a mini overnight vacation but he only wanted a day trip, so we decided to go get food in Boston instead. It was lovely except for the fact that all the places I wanted to eat at were either not open for the day yet or had moved locations. So we got a late lunch/early dinner at my favorite takeout place and came home. It was also just way too hot. I was drowning in sweat, that is not at all cute.

My baby shower is set for the beginning of September as that was the only date that worked for some people. It’s cutting it a bit close but hopefully it will all work out. Baby just better stay in there until close to due date.

I got a great opportunity to get a second ultrasound for free at a med school. Their students need to practice their techniques and I get some free pictures of the baby out of it. I can’t wait. Our insurance only covered one so I was resigned to never seeing him again until he comes out unless I needed one. I go for that in the middle of August.

What we’re eating this week:

Orzo Skillet (pictured) — Forgot to take a pic this week so here’s an old one. I used ground beef this time instead of ground chicken or turkey. I had some left over from last week I needed to use and some spinach that was going bad.

Spaghetti — Whenever I make something with tomato sauce, my husband always asks if I’m making spaghetti, yet when I ask him what he wants to eat each week, he never asks for it. So this week he’s getting his wish and I’m making spaghetti with mushrooms.

Green Beans, Chicken and Potatoes — My husband loves simple dishes like this so I think I’ll make it for our anniversary.

Shrimp, Spinach and Rice — I haven’t made this staple dish in a while, I definitely think it’s time, so delicious!

Brazilian Beans and Rice —  A simple dish with sausage, beans and rice, will probably swap out chickpeas for the pinto beans because someone doesn’t like beans.

Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children #57

Welcome to my weekly throwback book review! Each week I’ll be rereading and reviewing one or two books from my childhood. I was a huge reader as a child and these books shaped my life. I couldn’t possibly get rid of them, so I still have a large collection that I am sharing with all of you in the form of reviews.

#57 The Mystery in San Francisco: The Aldens are back with their Aunt Jane and her husband Andy. They’re on business in San Francisco so the kids flew out to join them and have an adventure.

Their aunt and uncle have a friend who owns a fishing boat, so when the kids start hanging around to learn about the fishing industry, of course things start to go wrong. The restaurant the fisherman Charlie supplies to complains of rotten fish, boats come untied and float away, and they see people on the dock in the middle of the night when they stay overnight on a boat. When the kids go out on a fishing expedition, they find that someone has taken the fuel and cut the radio wire.

While sightseeing around the city, the Aldens keep seeing a woman who looks just like Charlie’s assistant Kate but she denies ever being at those places or otherwise has an alibi. A second fishing trip results in finding the nets cut. Someone seems like they’re out to get Charlie, or at least ruin his fishing business. And the kids keep seeing a mysterious man hanging around the docks in a suit. What is going on?

Thanks to a broken lantern that Henry finds, proving one of the other fishermen was on the dock causing mischief, they identify the person responsible for all the issues. He’s a newer fisherman hoping to get an advantage. The mysterious man in the suit is a private investigator hired to figure out who was causing trouble, and Kate’s lookalike is her twin sister, working with him. So the Aldens spend another vacation solving a mystery.

This one was interesting simply because I’ve visited San Francisco a number of times myself, so I was familiar with a lot of the places they visit like Pier 39. One thing I found hard to believe was the fact that the kids’ aunt and uncle were renting a house on Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world. Those houses are worth millions of dollars these days.

Overall this was a fun one, I like when they visit places that exist in real life and you learn a bit about real places. I learned that Alcatraz means pelicans, which were the first residents of the prison island.

Weekly Meal Plan: July 16 – July 22

11 weeks left until my due date! Things are ramping up and there’s a lot to do. Our baby shower is in the process of being planned and we still have to tour the hospital and pick a pediatrician. I’m also trying to get everything in order for home after he comes, which I’ll talk about after the meal plan.

What we’re eating this week:

Cajun Sausage and Orzo — Made this last night for dinner, it’s always delicious. I never have cream on hand so I used milk, not much of a difference.

Easy Ground Meat Casserole — I haven’t been to the store yet as of writing this so I’m not sure if I’m going to use ground turkey or beef. The rest of it is super simple and sounds tasty.

Brown Sugar Glazed Garlic Pork Chops — Simple spice rub on pork chops, will probably serve with a side of rice.

Ravioli Skillet Lasagna — I have some ravioli to use up in the freezer, hope it’s enough to make this dish.

Chicken Paprikash — I haven’t made this recipe in a while. I always sub Greek yogurt for sour cream for a healthier dish.

To prepare for the upcoming time after the baby gets here, I’m going to start making freezer meals. We no longer have a Costco membership (though I’m still hoping hubby will come around) so I’m going to buy the ingredients and make one meal a week. Hopefully that will be good. Otherwise I have no idea what we’ll be eating for at least the first week or so as I recover.

This week I think I’ll be making Lemon Pepper Chicken as I have a random lemon I need to use up in my fridge.

Throwback Book Review: Boxcar Children #56

Welcome to my weekly throwback book review! Each week I’ll be rereading and reviewing one or two books from my childhood. I was a huge reader as a child and these books shaped my life. I couldn’t possibly get rid of them, so I still have a large collection that I am sharing with all of you in the form of reviews.

What We Missed: #55 The Mystery of the Secret Message, something about a missing statue and a mystery message hidden in a picture.

#56 The Firehouse Mystery: Benny finds an old firefighter’s helmet in the attic with Grandfather’s name on it and the kids find out he used to be a volunteer firefighter. Because he knows everyone in town, Grandfather takes them to the local firehouse where the kids get a tour and they find out that the town wants to tear it down to build a new one.

The Aldens have never met a cause they didn’t want to help with, so they immediately volunteer to spruce up the place and make people change their minds. Because a coat of paint and some plants will negate the fact that the garage can’t fit modern firetrucks…

But because this is a Boxcar Children mystery, someone wants to thwart their plans. They find the leftover paint kicked over into a messy puddle, and someone trampled their window box plants. Then, valuable trophies go missing along with the firehouse Dalmatian’s blanket.

Was it the woman who is behind the charge for tearing it down? Is it the architect she hired that really needs the job? Or is it the guy who has been sulking around, claiming to write a book on historic Greenfield buildings but hasn’t done any research?

All signs point to the architect since she comes into possession of their petition to stop the demolition, and she’s been really interested in the trophies. But the kids find a notebook with the prices listed for the trophies, and realize it belongs to the ‘writer’ and when he shows up, the dog finds her blanket in the back of his car, covering the trophies.

In the end, the firehouse is saved from being torn down: the architect comes up with a way to expand it to fit better firetrucks, with a locking case for the trophies and artifacts.