Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Week(s) in Photos: Misc. Fun with Ben and Fun with Friends

Rachel and Peter picked up this book for Ben and it was the absolute PERFECT timing!  Ben had lots of follow up questions following our visit to see Hamilton, and this was a fun way to read and answer them for him!

We decided to get an annual pass to the zoo this year (after not having one since Ben was 2 years old).  Some of our friends have passes, and this will make for some fun summer outings!  We went for the first time with my mom, however, on a very bright and sunny and also EXTREMELY COLD day in February.  We lasted about an hour.

But we went back a few weeks later on a much warmer day and had a blast!  Bonus: The meer cats were posing for everyone.

Go Blue!  Currently still in the tournament!


A trip to Johnny Rockets before Hamilton.

A date night to see Black Panther (SO GOOD!) at the 21+ theater in Bellevue.  Loved being brought wine and dinner while we relaxed and watched the movie.

Several months ago we picked a weekend close to Erica and Maureen's birthdays and planned a night in Leavenworth!  The weather was gorgeous and it was so fun to spend some QT with these ladies :)

Meanwhile at home, Greg took Ben fishing with Sammy and Sully:

And then to a St. Patty's Day Party!

Snuggled with my buddy when I returned home :)

To say we love our "new"ly discovered neighbors is an understatement.  We now always have people to do last minute things with and it's been so much fun.  

On this night, we decided to grab dinner and drinks at McMenamin's - forgetting that it was St. Patty's Day weekend!

The weekend before, we planned a hike and a picnic at St. Edwards Park :)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Meal Planning: March 19th - 23rd

Review from last week:

I made these amazing lentil/veggie bowls with tahini dressing last week for lunches.  So good that I'm going to repeat that this week (especially since I have almost all of the ingredients).   and I'm going to do that again this week!

Greg really liked this one - I just thought it was okay.  But we both agreed that it would have been better with uncooked chicken sausage (or regular sausage) vs the precooked chicken sausage I used in it.

One of my favorite ways to have "healthy spaghetti".  Loaded with veggies, hearty and delicious.

My mom made strogonoff this week and it was great!

Plan for this week:

Monday: Middle Eastern Chicken-Chickpea Salad with Brown Rice and Tahini Dressing

Tuesday: Breakfast for dinner: Avocado Toast with a Fried Egg and a side of bacon

Wednesday: Poblano Skillet Enchiladas

Thursday: Leftover Enchiladas stuffed and baked in Bell Peppers

Friday:  TBD

Friday, March 9, 2018

Meal Planning: March 11th - 18th

Review from last week:

I had been craving this flank carnita plate that we usually have quite a bit in the summer.  Greg picked up some flank over the weekend and made my dreams come through!


An oldie but a goodie - freezes so well and is great as leftovers for lunch:

Instant Pot chili. Good, but I think I prefer my lagared turkey chili I cook on the stove...

Leftover flank steak made into a salad:

I'm obsessed with these stuffed bell peppers that Trader Joe's has.  I hadn't seen them in awhile so I picked up a couple packages to have for easy dinners:

My friend Kristin made this orzo and roasted vegetable dish last week and it looked so good I had to try it.  It was great because I made it the night before when I had more time and reheated it to go with the instant pot chicken (which was so juicy and tender BTW).  YUM.

Plan for this week:

Saturday: Pizza for my mom and Ben while Greg and I go see Black Panther at the 21+ dine in movie place

Sunday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Sausage Creole

Monday: Avocado Kale Caesar with chicken

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: My mom and I have been alternating Wednesdays and cooking dinner - this is her week :)  She's making Beef Stroganoff.

Thursday: Spaghetti Squash with Bolognese Sauce 

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: I'll be out of town and Greg and Ben are celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends

Sunday: TBD

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

HAMILTON with Ben!

Since I first heard the sound track back in September 2015, Hamilton  has been a BIG part of my life.  I'm scared to think about how many times I've listened to it, (and on that subject, also scared to tally up how many hours and dollars have been spent on it - but HEY, it's a passion so back off). Since I spend a lot of time with Ben in the car, he too became a big fan of Hamilton.  He knows so many of the songs by heart and we have talked at length about the history behind the musical.  

It has reminded me of when I was little and my dad and I would listen to Phantom of the Opera together.  I have a distinct memory of being at a client of my dads when he had his woodworking business and we were listening to it while he worked there.  It was then that I became a big fan of musicals.  My parents took me to see Phantom when I was young and I remember just sobbing in the audience.  So overwhelming and magical!

Hamilton has brought me SO much joy over the past few years and has led to some of my best days!  Seeing the original cast in New York with Greg is still playing on the highlight reel of my life in my head.  Going to see the first tour cast in San Fransisco with my mom (who I've fully converted into a Hamilfan) was amazing!  Going on a trip last October to LA to see it with friends was one of my favorite weekends also!

Now that the second tour has launched in Seattle, I was able to see it again with my mom due to us being season ticket holders!

Last week, I was talking about the show with a friend who had recently seen it, and Ben said to me "Mom, will you take me to meet the Schuyler sisters"?  I looked at him and said, "REALLY???" and then explained exactly what the show would be like:

"Ben - it's really long.  It's loud.  You canNOT ask me 'how much longer'.  I will NOT take you to the bathroom in the middle of it.  It has some sad parts".  But then I proceeded to convince him by telling how how amazing and funny and special it is and how I would be thrilled to take him!  He was in - and I promptly bought us tickets.  (For some reason, Ticketmaster has released box office seats that aren't completely ridiculous in price (at least compared to what some of the resale ticket prices have been).

On Sunday, we went to the matinee and I was thrilled to see how many other kids were there!

During the show, Ben was at times RIVETED.  He laughed so hard at the King's performance and sang along when prompted.  He asked great questions during intermission.  He reenacted the duel scene when we got home.  

It was such a special day for me, and now that my entire family has seen it with me, it marks the last time (in the foreseeable future,  anyway.....unless my mom wants to go to Puerto Rico next January) that I'll be seeing the show.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Meal Planning: March 3rd - 10th

Review from last week:

My first time using my new Instant Pot and WOW I'm impressed!  It was scary to use, but I love how quickly it cooked everything.  This soup was pretty good - a little bland.  It made a ton and I ate it for lunch most of the week.

Another good one - I had made the slow cooker version.  This one was the exact same, except it cooked in 15 minutes.

This was the turkey taco breakfast scramble that I made for 4 breakfasts last week.  It was a nice change from my usual hard boiled eggs and toast.

My mom made a delicious chicken and vegetable curry for us this week!  My house only smelled like curry for 48 hours afterwards ;)

Plan for next week:

Saturday: I didn't get a chance to make this last week, so I'm making it tonight instead!  Instant Pot Smoky Bacon Chili

Sunday: Grilled Flank Steak Tacos

Monday: Leftover Chili

Tuesday: Baked Pasta with Sausage & Spinach

Wednesday: Lemon Garlic Orzo with Roasted Vegetables with Instant Pot Chicken Breast 

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Ben is having his end of season basketball team pizza party

Saturday: TBD

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Meal Planning: February 25th - March 2nd

Review from last week:

One of our favorites every time:

Blue Apron this week.  This orzo pasta was particularly incredible.  I'll make it again for sure. 

Another Blue Apron dish - Greg and I thought the chicken was delicious, but would have been better over rice vs. in a taco.

Chicken Pot Pie - my weakness.

Plan for next week:

For breakfast for the week: Taco Scramble 

I got an Insta Pot and I'm excited to test it out this week!

Sunday: This will be dinner on Sunday and lunch for the week: Instant Pot Chicken and Lentil Soup

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: My mom is making chicken curry for dinner!

Friday: Leftovers

Monday, February 19, 2018

San Diego

On Saturday morning, we packed our things up and drive down to San Diego.  We were all pretty exhausted after our days at Disney and sitting in traffic, so we kept it pretty mellow on Saturday afternoon!

After relaxing and showering, we headed out to a nearby park to play for a bit and then grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at Liberty Public Market.  It's essentially a big fancy food court that has a bar and a fun outdoor space for kids to hang out and play.  Ben had pizza, Violet had a cheeseburger and Hilary and I had kale chicken Caesar salads.

Feeling sunshine on your face when it's been cold and rainy at home is like nothing else.

That night the kids had a slumber party in the living room. 

Our trip ended on Sunday after Violet's Coco themed birthday party!  How amazing is this cake??

John and his family made the most amazing tacos, rice and beans for everyone.  Absolutely delicious.

We are super bummed the trip is over, but of course it's always nice to come home and sleep in your own bed.  The only bummer is the frigid temps we returned to!