Bang for your buck

It’s no secret that I’m a planner. Not only do I religiously keep my Google Calendar up to date, I also tote around a physical planner with me, just in case. Naturally this trait of mine has spilled over into the food realm, making me a big meal planner as well. As you can see below, this is just a snip-it of last week and next two weeks in terms of our planned meals, my runs, homework assignments, and any other noteworthy events (the green is dinner and there are some holes that need to be filled):

Now that I’m student teaching, even though I’m home earlier, those hours are spent doing homework for my seminar course, studying for the Praxis II, and a fun little thing called lesson planning. Last week was my first week and there wasn’t any lesson planning, but that changed this past weekend. It’s a good thing it snowed Saturday – I had no excuse. So, I’ve been trying to find meals that I can make on Sunday and then use in different ways throughout the week.

This week, I made Bon Appétite’s Cannellini Beans with Kale, that I decided to serve over brown rice on Monday evening. At first I wasn’t sure if there would be enough flavor, but I was pleasantly surprised. The recipe is actually intended to be used for a spin on bruschetta, but it was just as delicious served over rice.

On Wednesday, I took the cooking liquid from the original recipe and 3 1/2 cups of the cannellini beans and kale, and turned into a soup using this recipe. Being able to take something so simple and use it in two completely different ways was not only a time, but also a money saver. Since the weather has actually felt like winter the past few days, this hearty soup was perfect.

I’m definitely on the hunt for more recipes like this, where I can buy a bunch of ingredients and re-use them in multiple ways.

A Wedded Weekend

On Saturday, my fiancé and I set out to conquer more to-dos on our wedding list. With my mom in toe, we headed up to a florist near our venue to discuss flowers. This is the second florist we’ve met with, and we’re meeting with one more before making a final decision. It’s really hard, because I’m not super picky when it comes to flowers; I don’t have a favorite flower, for example, and I’m really clueless about them too. So, I’m really looking for someone that can use their creativity and the little bit of input I have to make something gorgeous. All I know is that I want bright beautiful green and yellow in my bouquet, with more muted colors for my girls since they’ll be in green. As for centerpieces, I just want something low, and bright. Maybe like this…

After meeting with the florist, we headed to the hotel where we’ll be booking a block of rooms for ourselves and our guests. By booking with that hotel, we also get a deal on transportation for all of our guests to and from the venue, which was extremely important to us. We’re also in the process of finalizing our invitations… Things are starting to come together!

On Sunday, we spent the morning trying to clean up our townhouse, since I have my bridesmaids coming next Saturday for their dress fitting! After that we headed out for a run. We still have it on our heads that we’ll be “running” the half marathon April 17th, and I think my fiancé finally realized that it’s something we’ll be doing together, slowly. On Thursday after my 4-miler, I noticed that when I accidentally hit my shin, I felt pain. Pain very similar to my shin splints in December. Low and behold, I’m definitely on the road to get shin splints again. This time, though, I’m not ignoring it and I’m icing, compressing, rolling, and not increasing my mileage like crazy. I was supposed to run 6 miles Sunday, but kept it at 4 just to be safe. I’ll try and tackle 6 on Tuesday, followed by 2 on Thursday. I can’t seem to catch a break with these injuries!

Since we’re back to running, I’ve welcomed yummy desserts back into our routine. On Sunday evening, I decided to make How Sweet Eats’ Triple Layer Cookies & Cream Crunch Bars. Ohh yes – they were absolutely amazing. Of course, they didn’t look quite like Jessica’s, but they tasted awesome! Everything she puts on her blog looks so scrumptious; I wish I could be that creative in the kitchen. And checkout the sweet plate – these awesome Maleficent (from Cinderella) plates were on sale at Target for 75 cents! So I scored four!

This week’s kitchen adventures were first squashed when, again, the avocados at ShopRite were nowhere near ripe. I’m hoping they’ll be ready sometime this week to use in other recipes, but the homemade sushi I was planning on making Sunday night was a no-go. Maybe next week. But, I’ll be making some veggie burgers and sweet potato fries, falafel, and finally the huevos rancheros I wanted to make last week. Maybe I’ll even bake something else!