What’s Saving My Life Right Now

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I love Modern Mrs. Darcy‘s yearly posts on what’s saving her life right now. It’s fun to see the bright spots in cold, dreary winter for others. Last year I joined in, and some of my things are the same, but I’m in a very different phase than I was last year. So here’s what I have.

Tea breaks. I tried to make New Year’s Resolutions that would be easy on me; I know myself, and resolving to exercise every day or lose 50 pounds would just end in feeling bad about not following through. So I resolved to drink tea and read poetry every day. I’ve always enjoyed hot tea, and I had all kinds, but I have always defaulted to coffee. I have so loved these little tea times, and developed a special affinity for Harney and Sons’ Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. It’s the only tea I’ve ever found I can drink unsweetened. It’s spicy and orangey, and my husband and I decided it’s kind of a mix between a spiced cider and tea. We have an electric tea kettle that we confiscated from a dorm boy’s room at one point, and I’ve been loving it!

Having an infant. How long can you call a baby an infant? I don’t know. Our fourth child, Hannah, is three-and-a-half months old now. Having your last baby and wanting to lean in to that fleeting baby time will make you slow down, even in winter. Right now, I’m still doing a lot of rocking, cuddling, nursing, and staying at home so she can have a decent nap. I don’t want to speed through the cold months because I know her infancy will be so fast. (P.S. If you follow me on Instagram, I mostly post pictures of Her Royal Cuteness.)

And baby smiles and giggles. Because they are simply THE BEST.

These are pink champagne cupcakes I made for New Year’s Eve, and they were incredibly good. 

Baking. I’m a little bit of a stress-baker. As Addie Zierman described in her wonderful post today, I also think I battle through some of my depression issues with the physicality of cooking. After the cookie extravaganza that is December, I have turned to cakes in January. Just that I can think of, in this new year I’ve made Cinnamon Roll Cake, Root Beer Bundt Cake from Baked, Banana Bundt Cake, Snickerdoodle Cake, and White Almond Sour Cream Cake. Not to mention Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread, Apricot Oatmeal Bars, corn dog muffins, and probably half a dozen other things I can’t remember.

It’s good I have a dorm full of high-school boys to feed. My stress-baking is very compatible with their love of food. Baking makes me happy; feeding people makes me happy.

As always, hot baths and good books. The perfect combination. I’m about to go there right now, to finish The Year of Living Danishly.


I am loving reading about those things that help save others’ lives in the link-up at Modern Mrs. Darcy! How about you? What gets you through the winter? 

Menu Plan What Day Is It?

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Y’all. I officially have lost all sense of time. And my oldest starts back to school in less than a week. I don’t think that’s a good thing. All I can think about is how hot I am and how very pregnant.

But I still have to cook for another week or so while we wait for the dining hall to open again. So here it goes – the last hurrah!

Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken

Saturday: recipe testing for Chattavore!
Sunday: One Pan Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
Monday: Fettuccine Alfredo and Roasted Salmon
Tuesday: Asian-Inspired Lemon Chicken, Pressure Cooker Sesame Broccoli (from Cooking Under Pressure)
Wednesday: Perfect Pot Roast, macaroni and cheese
Thursday: tacos, Spanish rice
Friday: Savory Cheesy Waffles, eggs, sausage

I know we are all looking forward to the dining hall opening. It’s not that I don’t love cooking, but I am reaching the point of pregnancy where I feel totally justified in making Hot Pockets for dinner because dang, I am tired and getting uncomfortable. Plus, washing dishes.

Hope you are having a great weekend so far!

Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday: Pretzel-Crusted drumsticks, parmesan rice mix, baby carrots, salad
Sunday: Ham and Potato Frittata (lunch); Stuffed Flounder Rolls, sweet potatoes, broccoli, zucchini noodles (dinner)
Monday: Brown Rice and Lentils
Tuesday: spaghetti and sauce with meatballs, green beans
Wednesday: Smoky Turkey Shepherd’s Pie (from Rachael Ray 365)
Thursday: Chili-Orange Country-Style Ribs, corn, veggie

That was as many meals as I could bring myself to plan. 🙂 PBJ for dinner it is! Actually my in-laws are coming this weekend, so meals might be flexible anyway.

Have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday: Coda Alla Vaccinara and Sun Dried-Tomato Bread (carried over from last week)
Tuesday: Red Beans and Rice
Wednesday: Fish en Papillote, roasted potatoes
Thursday: Impossible Taco Pie with homemade Bisquick
Friday: Vietnamese Roasted Chicken Thighs, rice, stir-fried veggies
Saturday: Cheesy Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli
Sunday: Hawaiian Turkey Burgers on salad

What are you eating this week? 

Menu Plan Monday

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In the midst of this crazy week … we still have to eat. So here it goes.

Monday: Sausage and pepper sandwiches, fruit
Tuesday: Cajun turkey burgers, sweet potato fries
Wednesday: Tortilla-crusted chicken, corn and black beans with feta
Thursday: Salmon chowder
Friday: Coda Alla Vaccinara and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread
Saturday: homemade pizza


Menu Plan Monday

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I actually made my menu plan and shopped for it on Saturday this week. It’s like I don’t even know myself. I also made lunch for after church on Saturday evening, so we could just heat it up Sunday afternoon. Maybe this fourth child will make me into a responsible adult after all. 😉


Hope you’re heading into a good week.

Monday: 4th of July party, taking Nutty S’more Bars
Tuesday: Cheesy Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots
Wednesday: Secret Recipe Club meal
Thursday: Pork Chops with Apple Stuffing, Quick Southern Green Beans
Friday: Sesame-Ginger Salmon in Foil, rice, veggie
Saturday: Citrus-Marinated Chicken, rice pilaf, salad

World's Best Cheesy Meatloaf

I still have some breakfast recipes to make from last week, so no planning there. Several of these are new recipes for us, and I’m hoping for some hits! Libbie requested salmon, and she usually likes Asian flavors (she nutso loves soy sauce!), so I think this one will fit the bill.

What are you making this week?