Goodbye & Farewell 2017

It’s a week of recaps, my friends. First and foremost, this is my last post of 2017!

I hope you have a wonderful, fun, safe, exciting (or relaxing) end of the year!!

Happy New Year!

(You can either read on for my year-end recap or peace out from hereย ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

My goals for 2017 were as follows:

Be Healthy. FAIL. Same weight and habits and vices going strong. *face palm*

Feel Less Guilty About Downtime. While I still enjoy multitasking, I definitely don’t feel guilty about indulging in some downtime.

Read more. I read 25 books in 2016. I read 33 this year.

Become a Morning Person. No… this didn’t happen. I’ve only recently started rolling out of bed a little earlier and a little less rushed…

Get on Schedule. Eh. Meal planning happened and all the holidays fell into place. This is a work in progress, but I’ll take it. *shrug*

In my opinion, 2017 was a challenging and transitional year…

The political climate this year was tense and frustrating and volatile. I don’t see that ceasing in 2018, but I’m going into the new year hopeful and hungry for equality and change and progress.

At the start of 2017 I join K at Pageantry Innovations. We sold our first home together over the summer and moved into a new one in October. We went to some weddings, watched a lot of NASCAR, and took a family vacation to the beach. K brought home a new vehicular baby and we checked some concerts off our bucket list. I quit biting my nails, I blogged consistently, and we hit a new milestone with the business. K turned 30, Enzo turned 4 (!), and Lylee turned 6 (!!). One of our favorite babies was born this year & lots of friends announced pregnancies, engagements, and new significant others. For us, it was a stressful year full of learning and change, but I wouldn’t take any of it back.

Baby Tobin | New Vette | February Brunch Date | San Antonio | K’s 30th Bday | Orchestra for Mom’s Bday | Family Pic | 4th Anniversary | Landscaping
Buckeye Country Superfest | Lylee turns 6 | Mid-Ohio Race | 4th of July on the USS NC | Bridal Brunch | Family Vacation at Sunset Beach, NC | Bridal Shower | Enzo turns 4 | Bridal Party
New house | Cedar Point with Honda | In-laws New Kitty | Rehearsal Dinner Pic | My Bday | Goofy Wedding Pic | Not-So-Baby Tobin | Halloween | The Babes

I remember coming out of 2016 feeling terrible. The end of 2017 doesn’t feel so bad.
Personally, I’m grateful for the year I had. I’m hoping 2018 proves to be an even better one.

(Recaps from 2016 and 2015. And 2014 for good measure, lol.)

How was your 2017?

Meal Planning (or “How to Keep Most of Your Groceries From Going Bad”)

Hiii (*waves nervously*) Let’s kick this off with the confession that I am not a foodie or a chef or a professional meal planner. I’m a newbie who still let’s the milk go bad and forgets to use the bananas before they’re squishy and grey.

Alright. Now that my credentials are out of the way…

*In between starting this post and finish it I went through our pasta cabinet and threw out so much expired food. Pasta, graham crackers, panko breading. Not a few months expired… years. Please note: All of that was purchase pre-meal planning. #oops

Toward the end of last year I started meal planning for our family of two. At the start of 2017 I made the lax resolution to meal plan every week. Surprisingly, I’m actually carrying this out with moderate success. A fellow blogger (Carolann, I think?) suggested I talk about my methods. So I thought, ‘Sure! Why not?!’

To be frank, I’m not even 100% sure I do this right. Critique me if you feel so inclined. I have thick skin; I can handle it.

Step 1

Pick three meals for the week.

Three?? But Audrey! Surely you’ll starve!

Fear not, my friends. We utilize the luxury of takeout and/or dining out at least once a week. (*cough*still working on budgeting*cough*)

Honestly, though. On Fridays we’re usually out with my parents and on Sundays we typically have dinner at my grandparents. Mix in one night of take out and fill that fourth night with leftovers and we’ve got three days left for home cooked meals.

… perhaps I’m not so qualified to write this post.

Stick with me, friends. Pick three meals from anywhere. I usually search Pinterest. Sometimes it’s not a recipe meal- sometimes it’s just burgers and veggies on the grill. It doesn’t matter… it still counts.

Ok. Got your three meals? I’m going to play along here and pick three, too.

  1. One Pan Sausage & Veggies (+ egg noddles with butter #healthy)
  2. Chicken Fajita Pasta (so good!! if this isn’t one of your 3 you should change that)
  3. Steak & veggies on the grill (+ mashed red potatoes left over from meal #1)

Step 2

Make a grocery list with the ingredients you don’t have.

can we ignore the “egg noddles”? oops

Now double check your kitchen for the ingredients you might actually have, but you put on the list anyway because you weren’t sure and you were too lazy to go look in the cabinet to check. (Oh. Just me? ) Cross those ones off.

Step 3

Go grocery shopping. I prefer Sunday afternoons because for some reason it’s a ghost town at the market but everything is all stocked for the week.

Obviously if there’s an afternoon NASCAR race this gets bumped to Monday night (which becomes the takeout night).

Step 4

Prep stuff if you feel so inclined.

Often I do not.

This is a good time to figure out WHEN you’re eating your meals. I don’t like to keep asparagus or steak too long so we’ll have those on Monday or Tuesday. If we don’t plan to make something until the weekend or we get busy and have to skip a meal I throw the appropriate meat in the freezer.

Boom Bang Ba-Da-Done.

the chicken fajita pasta… seriously- SO good

Some amateur tips:

  • if you never go out to eat plan for four nights
  • if you have a super busy week aim for two nights and make enough for leftovers
  • this doesn’t include lunch… and if you eat leftovers for lunch, go with 4 meals
  • make that Chicken Fajita Pasta… you won’t regret it

Was that even helpful…? Hahaha. Honestly, I never meal planned before this year but now that I do it’s pretty easy to stick with. This is probably a good gateway to meal prepping, too, but I don’t wanna demand too much of myself…

So tell me… do you meal plan? If so, what am I doing wrong? ๐Ÿ™‚ If you don’t plan does this make you want to…?