Weekly Meal Plan

Saturday 6
Breakfast/Lunch: ham and cheese omelettes (with leftover Easter ham)
Supper: went out to supper to celebrate Mark’s upcoming convocation
Sunday 7
Meal with Mark’s family after church
Monday 8
Lunch: leftover lasagna from last week
Supper: curried chicken strips with rice
Tuesday 9
Lunch: ham buns (Mark), noodles (Jessica)
Supper: eat at Mark’s parents’ house before youth
Wednesday 10
Lunch: Caesar salad wraps
Supper: salmon pesto salmon
Thursday 11
Lunch: smokies (Mark), Caesar salad wraps (Jessica)
Supper: Chicken Dijon (recipe to come!)
Friday 12
Lunch: smokies (Mark), leftovers (Jessica)
Supper: Crispy Cheddar Chicken

Linking up at Menu Plan Mondays at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Friday Favourite Finds

Yikes, it’s 12:05am on Saturday as I write this, so I guess I’m cheating on this “Friday” thing! But that’s okay.

I kind of dropped off the grid for a week there! We had a nice long weekend, celebrating Mark’s sister’s birthday and also Easter. We go to church in the next town over, and we had a joint Good Friday service with the other church in town, which was wonderful. And of course Easter itself was wonderful too. He is risen!

I am in the final stretch for school too – one more lecture, one more exam, and a photography exhibition (my first show, yikes). I am very excited for the semester to be over! I do love school (it may not seem like it sometimes though…), but I’ve been in school since September 2011 with the most time off being 3 weeks in August (which involved driving a Uhaul from BC to Saskatchewan)… so I’m definitely ready for a break!

Anyway… it’s time to share some good stuff I’ve come across in the past little while. I’m linking up with Finding Joy in my Kitchen for Favourite Friday Finds!

I absolutely love lemon poppyseed muffins/loafs/anything, but I’ve never actually attempted to make it myself. I love to cook, but when it comes to baking, I often get discouraged since I mess up pretty easily. (I guess cooking is a lot more forgiving!) Anyway, this lemon poppyseed bundt cake looks like it would be good to try!

Okay, I guess this pin requires a confession. I am a HUGE fan of Anderson Cooper. Seriously, I’ve never had a huge thing for celebrities growing up, I didn’t care about boybands or anything… but as a girl in her 20s, I’ve developed this fangirl thing for Anderson. I am ridiculously sad about his daytime show ending. ANYWAY, I think I was watching a old clip of him with Kelly Ripa, and he said that Momofuku Milk Bar’s compost cookies were his favourite. So I looked them up… and the blogosphere delivered, with a post talking about him even. Be still, my heart.

Ahem… on a less dramatic, non-run-on-sentence note… this crispy cheddar chicken looks yummy! (Seriously, I’m sorry for the long windedness – I’m on a new nerve medication and I am COMPLETELY loopy right now.)

Another yummy-looking chicken recipe – baked crispy ranch chicken. Gotta love that it only has four ingredients, too!

This broccoli quinoa casserole strikes me as kind of chicken divan-y, without the chicken. Although I COULD throw in the chicken… (it appears that it is now chicken week here. Interesting!)

Weekly Meal Plan

A little bit late, but here is our meal plan for the week.

Saturday 23
Breakfast/Lunch: omelettes, sweet potato hashbrowns & bacon
Supper: meatball subs for Mark, and cheesy quinoa cakes for both of us. This was my first time experimenting with quinoa! The cakes were a little bland, but definitely worth experimenting with. The addition of the aioli made them great!
Sunday 24
Meal at church
Monday 25
Lunch: leftover meatball sandwiches (Mark), leftover pesto salad (Jessica)
Supper: Japanese curry on chicken strips with rice
Tuesday 26
Lunch: leftover hamburgers (Mark), salad wraps (Jessica)
Supper: eat at Mark’s parents’ house before youth
Wednesday 27
Lunch: leftover burgers (Mark), soup & grilled cheese (Jessica)
Supper: perogies (Mark), salad wraps (Jessica) (I work late this night, so Mark is on his own!)
Thursday 28
Lunch: smokies (Mark), salad wraps (Jessica)
Supper: “man pleasing” chicken
Friday 29
celebrating Mark’s sister’s birthday after church

Linking up at Menu Plan Mondays at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Spring Decorating!

As I wrote in my last post, despite being a few days into spring, it definitely isn’t very spring-y outside. So… I’ve been trying to bring it inside!

I’m kind of new to the whole “home decor” thing… when renting various apartments/basement suites/bedrooms, it was enough of a struggle to keep things looking uncluttered, without having to worry about decorating, too. Last spring, we were battling the mountain of moving boxes, so we didn’t give much thought to decor. This year, though, I’ve been experimenting a little bit!

This pretty little bouquet lives on top of our piano in the kitchen. (Yes, the piano is in the kitchen. It doesn’t fit anywhere else right now!) Mark’s mom buys me and my sister-in-law flowers from Michael’s every so often, and I love mixing and matching them for different arrangements. For example, I used the dark pink ones in a summer arrangement and the yellow ones in a fall arrangement. I treated myself to the light pink ones and the pussy willow-ish grass (I find that grasses bring silk arrangements to a whole new level!) a few weeks ago. The jar and the cute stone owl belonged to my grandparents. And that mirror to the left has been waiting to be hung for, oh, 6 months…

This is on top of our little cabinet in our main living area, beside our television. It would be so easy to just go crazy and buy a whack of stuff to decorate with… but the last thing I need is MORE STUFF, so I’ve been trying to use what I have and only buy what I love or what compliments what I already have. The tree vase, books, and white dove were my grandparents’, while the yellow glass dish was Mark’s grandmother’s. The tealight lantern is from IKEA, and the blue bird and the grasses are from Michael’s. I had originally tried to put blue, green, and white flowers in the vase too, but it just wasn’t working. I like the simplicity and spring-y-ness of the grass!

I had been looking for a birdie friend for my white dove, and this little blue guy was so cute! He actually comes in multiple colours and sizes, and I saw a knockoff at Walmart that looks pretty much exactly the same (although it was more expensive when I saw it, go figure!).

Like the weather outside, some parts of our seasonal decor in stuck in winter mode… like one of our shadow boxes in the dining area:

Mark styled this himself when he hung up these shadow boxes for me, isn’t he great? I made a shwhack of these “waterless snow globes” (inspired by this tutorial) for our extended family Christmas party’s secret santa. I kept a bunch for myself, and they’re still kicking around, months later… just like winter. Hopefully my little touches of spring will inspire spring to come soon!

Linked up at Homemaking Link-Up & Strut Your Stuff Saturday.

Friday Favourite Finds

Happy Friday everyone! And happy spring…?!? The weather has been a little bit horrifying lately – winds gusting up to 80+ km/h, snow drifts everywhere, with the highway we back onto has been on “travel not recommended” since Wednesday, which we actually hadn’t had all winter. A number of highways in the province have actually closed. The wind has calmed down today, but now it’s snowing… sigh! We have had snow on the ground since October – the longest winter of my life, given that many winters of my childhood involved no snow at all! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate winter… but I want to experience the other seasons, too!

Anyway, enough whining about the weather… time to share some of my favourite Pinterest finds of the week! I’m linking up with Finding Joy in my Kitchen for Favourite Friday Finds!

I tried a hashbrown casserole for the first time a number of months ago at a church brunch, and LOVED it. (Can you believe I had never had hashbrown casserole before? Maybe it’s not a BC thing?) I’d love to try making it myself using this loaded hashbrown casserole recipe.

Not too sure about the name Man Pleasing Chicken, but it sounds like it could be interesting with a marinade of maple syrup and dijon mustard (love dijon mustard!).

When making buffalo wings at home, I’ve always bought the frozen ones that you just throw in the oven. This recipe for baked buffalo wings doesn’t make preparing them myself seem too difficult!

I have a box of quinoa in the cupboard that I’ve been meaning to experiment with (never tried quinoa before!), and this cheesy quinoa mac and cheese seems like a fun recipe to start with!

Kind of a combination of the last two recipes – Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bites! These look super good.

Weekly Meal Plan

Well, here goes my attempt at jumping back onto the meal planning bandwagon! (I’m listing last Friday to this Friday, since I made the plan on Friday.)

Friday 15
Supper: asian salmon with wild rice
Saturday 16
Breakfast/Lunch: breakfast wraps, sweet potato hashbrowns & bacon
Supper: spaghetti with meatballs (I’m still experimenting with meatball recipes, didn’t love the texture of the ones I tried but it was still tasty!)
Sunday 17
after church meal with Mark’s family
Monday 18
Lunch: leftover meatball sandwiches (Mark), salad (Jessica)
Supper: curried chicken with rice
Tuesday 19
Lunch: smokies (Mark), leftovers or salad (Jessica)
Supper: eat at Mark’s parents’ house before youth
Wednesday 20
Lunch: deli meat sandwiches (Mark), soup & sandwich (Jessica)
Supper: smokies (Mark), salad wraps (Jessica) (I work late this night, so Mark is on his own!)
Thursday 21
Lunch: deli meat sandwiches (Mark), salad wraps (Jessica)
Supper: burgers (I will post my recipe in the future… so good!)
Friday 22
Lunch: leftover burgers
Supper: salmon pesto pasta

Linking up at Menu Plan Mondays at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Friday Favourite Finds

At certain points last year, I was so good about seeking out new meal ideas and making meal plans and such – it made life so much easier! I have definitely fallen off that wagon these days, though. Hopefully, blogging will help me be more focused on what I feed us, instead of resorting to whatever is quickest and easiest.

I’ll be linking up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen’s Friday Favourite Finds today! Here are a few of my pins that I wouldn’t mind trying out one of these days.

English muffins are one of those things that I always enjoyed for breakfast growing up that I don’t enjoy too often anymore – I suppose because I always feel like I’m buying too much bread in the first place and I don’t want to add more bread-y things to my cart. The $0.08/muffin thing is certainly tempting, too!

These breakfast pockets seem delicious and fun to experiment with – love that they’re freezer friendly too!

This Three Cheese Pasta Bake doesn’t exactly seem like the healthiest option… but I don’t know if I can resist ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella AND alfredo sauce. Oh man.

I LOVE curry more than a human should really love a type of food, but honestly, I haven’t enjoyed it too frequently since I moved to the prairies. Really, the selection of restaurants just isn’t the same here. I’ve been meaning to learn to make some sort of curry “from scratch”, and this recipe for Potato Curry Masala could be fun to try out!

Source: kayotic.nl via Jessica on Pinterest

Finishing Our Basement: Bedroom Colour Inspiration – Aqua!

One of the rooms we’re putting in the basement is a bedroom. This will either be a guest room and a place for us to sleep on those super hot summer nights, or we will move down there and take it as our bedroom.

With the bedroom being in the basement (obviously), I want to keep it as light and airy as possible. My thought? Light aqua! I’m hoping that with the one window, this will keep the bedroom as bright as a basement bedroom can be.

Some inspiration…

A bonus about using aqua is the fact that our extra bed frame is red. I’m loving the pops of red in the following pictures, which means that I could get away with not having to repaint the bed frame. (Ignore the crib, we don’t have any announcements to make in that realm! I also wouldn’t want to go quite as dark as that picture.)

Source: tumblr.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Source: indulgy.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Home Sweet Home

We moved into our home almost a year ago (we moved in at the end of March 2012). After renting for 5 years (well, for me… Mark only rented for half a year, lucky!), it kinda blows my mind that we actually OWN a house, even though we’ve lived here for a whole year now!

Coastal Girl on the Prairie: Our Home
This picture was taken last summer… our yard is buried under snow drifts right now!

Since we live about half an hour outside of the city, we were able to buy a brand new house for less than a older home would’ve cost us in the city. Blessed! They refer to our house as a bi-level – we have a main floor with three bedrooms, two washrooms, a living room, and a kitchen with a dining area, plus an unfinished basement.

Coastal Girl on the Prairie: Floorplan

The unfinished basement is perfect for us, since Mark can build whatever we want down there! Yet we can still close the door and go upstairs to a livable space. Our yard is a blank slate too – which is a good thing, since Mark is notoriously picky about decks and fences!

We just started on our basement in February. We are hoping to put in a bedroom, a washroom, a laundry/utility room, a storage room, and a nice big “fun” room – exciting times! Our good friend who is an electrician came over on the weekend and helped Mark wire the basement. So far, we have framed, insulated, wired, and Mark is in the process of putting poly over the insulation. After he finishes that, our building will likely take a hiatus until the fall, since we want to focus our efforts and finances on the yard this summer. But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop thinking about what we’re going to be doing in the basement! You’ll likely see a lot of inspiration posts as I mull over paint and decor ideas! So much fun to be able to make all of our own choices!