My Evening Routine

I love reading about other people's routines and day to day lives. I always end up picking up extremely useful tips or just find a more efficient way of doing something. I work during the day, so I decided to focus on my evening routine which starts when I get off of work and pick up my daughter from school. This is just a rough guide because sometimes we have a practice, class, or event to go to and then that changes things big time. So, here's how things usually go each night:

» getting home

- Waves always changes clothes and washes hands first thing when we get home.

- Put a load of clothes in the washing machine - on quick wash always

- If dishwasher has clean dishes in it, I put those away so it will be empty and then I can load dirty dishes as I cook dinner rather than have them in the sink or all over the counters.

- Go through Waves backpack and take out papers (so many papers!), sign anything I need to, take out any leftovers from snack time, wash snack bag - I use these reusable snack bags and they are awesome! We've been using them for over six months now and they've held up perfectly. They are not leak proof but I'll put things like cantaloupe or cucumbers in there and it's fine. I wash the bags on the top rack in the dishwasher and then let them air dry, btw.

If I do something like crackers or raspberries that can break or get squished, I use one of my ECOlunchbox snack containers. The lid is easy to get off (Waves had no problem with them even in preschool when she was 3 years old), they don't leak, and are plastic free.

- If I packed her lunch that day, I empty out her lunchbox - we use this Yumbox and love it - and put it in the dishwasher.

- Ask Waves to tidy up any toys in the living room and her room before she can watch a tv show. We bought this tv stand from Ikea around 4 years ago and love it. Waves gets one of big drawers to put toys in so it makes clean up really easy and holds a ton of stuff. I like it much better than having a toy box or those cloth bins hanging out in the living room.

» 5pm // cooking dinner + misc. chores

- Move washed clothes over to the dryer.

- Put a load of towels (if there are enough dirty ones for a load) in on regular, hot wash - I always make sure my last load of laundry is towels because if I get too tired or forget to take them out of the dryer it won't matter if they wrinkle. That's my lazy person tip of the day 😜

- Start prepping dinner. I set up my laptop on the counter and either watch a tv show or listen to Spotify while I cook. Waves colors or plays in the kitchen and goes back and forth with helping me make dinner.

» 7:00pm // kid bedtime routine

- Bath, pjs, brush teeth, brush and braid hair, then she plays until bedtime around 8pm. I clean up the bathroom while she's in the tub - wipe down everything, clean mirror and toilet, etc.

- After that, my husband will read and/or do a math lesson on Khan Academy with Waves while I..

- Pack her snack and lunch for school, fill up her water bottle, and pack her backpack

- Get my lunch for the next day ready, although lately I've just been taking a frozen burrito with me to work since we have a fridge and microwave. Then I get my backpack ready to go for the next day (headphones, extra phone charger, emergency protein bar, wallet)

- Put towels in the dryer

- Fold/hang up clothes while watching something. My favorites right now are grocery haul videos 😜  Amber's channel is my favorite for that at the moment. Let me know any recommendations you have!

» 9:00pm // winding down

- Go over my planner - see what is going on the next day and the rest of the week, update to-do list, write down my work schedule for the week
- Tidy up the kitchen, run the dishwasher

- Wash face, spray on some rose water toner that I got at Trader Joe's, and use this argan oil as a nighttime moisturizer. I use this orange + clove lotion for everything else.

- And usually play around on my phone or laptop for too long and go to bed while drinking some hot tea - peppermint and this elderberry + tulsi one are my favorites. I'm working on doing better with winding down 😬

The evening always seems like such a blur since there's so much to do. I try to get as much done as I can right when I walk in the door just to get it out of the way so we can all relax together later. I'd love to hear any tips you have for making your evenings run smoother.

Hope you're having a great Monday so far!

Meal Plan + Before & After Photos: 3mo. of Macro Counting

minimalist baker's sweet potato lasagna
minimalist baker's sweet potato lasagna

» Minimalist Baker's Sweet Potato Lasagna - Made this last night. I prepped everything in the morning so all I had to do was put it in the oven an hour or so before dinner time. The tofu filling was amazing, but I didn't love the sweet potatoes. My daughter tried two bites and really didn't like it and my husband said it was just okay. I'm going to make the filling again but with legit lasagna noodles. I would also use an 8x8 pan next time. It said to use a 9x13 in the recipe, but I didn't have enough filling for all the layers and the lasagna came out a little flat.

Also, the vegan parmesan recipe I made to go with the lasagna is GOOD. Make it!

» make your own tacos - refried beans, tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheese, pico, and crunchy shells

» veggie burgers + fries

baked potato with minimalist baker's red lentil chili on top
baked potato with minimalist baker's red lentil chili on top

» Minimalist Baker's Red Lentil Chili - Made this on Sunday night and it is very good! I've been using leftovers on top of baked potatoes for lunch and loving it.

So, that's the plan for this week. Guys, I have been so worn out this week and it's only Tuesday 😜I'm so happy that we are having veggie burgers and fries for dinner tonight because it takes no time to make. Cut up some potatoes, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and put in the oven until they look good haha Microwave veggies burgers, slice tomatoes, wash lettuce.. and done. 🙌

» before and after photos

before and after // 3 months of counting macros
before and after // 3 months of counting macros
I started seriously counting macros on December 12, 2017. Through my Apple watch, I found out that I was burning 200-250 calories a day - that was with with no exercising at all. I decided I wanted to workout 4-5x a week and I used that info to figure out my macros using this online calculator from Healthy Eater. My macros came out to 119g protein /// 237g carbs /// 53g fat.

I ate around ~2,000 calories a day and made sure I hit that protein goal everyday. Most of my workouts were just walking 2-3 miles a day or doing Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home videos on YouTube. I set a goal on my watch to burn 400 calories a day and tried my best to meet that each day.

I was feeling discouraged lately and I remembered that I'd taken these before photos, so I took some pics this morning and put them side by side. I'm really happy with the results! I've never felt deprived while counting macros and I definitely indulge a little here and there.

This has definitely amped up my motivation and I'm excited to see where I am three months from now. If you have any questions at all about macro counting, I'd love to help!

One last thing to share because I have been laughing all day since I watched it earlier:

Hope you're having a great week!

Recent Meals // Easy & Quick

I hope that you all have been having a great week so far. I am super pumped that the time change is this weekend! Spring is almost here 🙌 I've been cooking every night this week and focusing on meals that don't have a ton of ingredients, can be prepped the night before, and don't take over half an hour. My daughter checked out the first Harry Potter book from the library and we are working our way through it each night so I don't have time to be in the kitchen long :] 

I have a really laid back approach to meal time when it comes to my daughter (5 years old). I'll share more in depth in another post, but I made notes after each recipe about how I adapted it for her. So, now onto the good stuff!

Budget Bytes Curried Chickpeas & Spinach » Such a fantastic recipe! It's so easy to make - 20 minutes from prepping to serving! - and so good. This is such a flavorful meal with few ingredients. It's a great one to make on busy nights. I used some boxed brown rice from Aldi that took five minutes to make on the stovetop. This has some spice to it.. so my daughter got rice, plain chickpeas, and some of the leftover pasta and veggies from the soup that I link to below. 👇

Minimalist Baker's 1 Pot Vegan Minestrone Soup » I didn't use gluten-free pasta on this one like she does in the recipe but I still followed the same directions and it turned out really well! My daughter doesn't like soups so I just drained the broth off and gave it to her as a bowl of pasta and veggies. This was a great recipe! It did make a lot of leftovers for us and when I pulled it out of the fridge the next day the pasta had soaked up all the broth. That was fine for me since that's how my daughter liked it but just an FYI if you're planning on making this too.

Brand New Vegan's Cauliflower Tacos » MAKE THIS RECIPE NOW! Oh my goodness.. it was incredible! I loved the addition of chopped up walnuts. My husband really liked these and my daughter didn't want to try them so I made a cheese quesadilla and steamed some broccoli for her instead 😜 I served our tacos with warm corn tortillas, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, this pico, Greek yogurt, and hot sauce.

I've been sharing recent meals over on my Instagram and trying my hand at Instagram stories while I'm cooking. I haven't been brave enough to actually talk on the videos because I don't know if I can handle hearing my voice just yet haha I'll work up to that one.

Have a great weekend!

How Much We Spent on Groceries in February + Meal Plan

I was curious as to how much we were spending on groceries each month so I decided to keep track of all my receipts in February. This post shares my first grocery trip of the month with a total of $159.32. This is for food only - no cleaning products, household goods, or anything like that.

We are a family of three - my husband and I are currently tracking macros, I'm a vegetarian, and my daughter eats quite a bit and I pack her lunch 2-3 times a week for school.

My first shopping trip of the month was a big one and then I made the following smaller trips to fill in the gaps:

Food City
total: $29.77 // $2 off coupon used

almond milk
orange juice
kashi go lean cereal
spaghetti sauce
red leaf lettuce
box of think thin protein bars
udis plain bagels

Trader Joe's
total: $24.19

2 bags roasted plantain chips
bar of 85% dark chocolate
coconut aminos
bag of oranges
bag of apples
jar of almond butter

Food City
total: $24.93

stubbs bbq sauce (had a backup in the pantry and didn't know 😑)
golden crackers
slush puppie popsicles
alexia frozen potato wedges
alexia frozen fries
2 amy's tofu scramble frozen burritos
pack of 12 hamburger buns

total: $52.22

2 boxes of think thin protein bars (15% off on cartwheel so I stocked up)
bag of russet potatoes
5 boxes of annie's mac n' cheese (were on sale for $0.99 each - great deal)
2 cans of amy's chili
2 boxes of special k protein cereal
3 sweet earth protein burritos
morningstar chicken nuggets
mini ice cream sundae bars

So, the total spent on groceries for the month of February: $290.43. Keeping track of all this and knowing that I was going to report back was extremely helpful in curbing impulse purchases and focusing more on weekly sales. We had quite a bit of food leftover for March too which is nice.

Right now, our freezer is packed full so I'm going to try to make more meals out of there to keep costs low this month. I already did a big shopping trip at Wal-Mart on Friday and I'll share that in another post since this one is already getting pretty long.

» this week's meal plan

cauliflower tacos - I made these over the weekend and they were amazing! We have a ton of tortillas and toppings leftover so I'm making more of the cauliflower filling for dinner and lunch tomorrow. I get bags of frozen riced cauliflower and Aldi for super cheap. 

5 ingredient paleo pizza spaghetti squash pie - I use Tofurky Italian sausages for this and it's so good! It makes enough to have for dinner and a couple of lunches which is nice.

stir-fry - I have a ton of frozen veggies and a couple blocks of tofu so stir-fry it is 👍

Italian wonderpot - It's just so easy and everyone loves it so much. I'll serve it along with a salad.

curried chickpeas with spinach - This is another family favorite and super easy to make.

Hope you all have had a great weekend so far and if you have any recipe suggestions please share! I love finding new meals to make :]

What I'm Loving

Yesterday was.. a day. There was a delay at school, so I had to go in late to work which wasn't a big deal because my coworkers had me covered - they're seriously awesome - but it still made for a bit of a stressful morning. Then, when I finally got off work I came home to no power because I totally spaced on paying the electric bill. Luckily, it was back on within 10 minutes of paying it but geez. I even wrote it down in my planner and missed it 😑

And then there's my daughter who just does. not. want. to. listen. to anything lately. I ended up taking away her tv/tablet time yesterday because of it and she was not happy. It turned out good though because we did some coloring, played some board games, made rice krispie - well, lucky charm - treats.. and we had a really fun time together.

Then there's this weird period right now where I feel like my husband and I are on totally different wavelengths and communication is just not happening. Well, not happening in the right.. positive kind of way it needs to, I guess I should say. I know it will be back to normal soon, but I hate it. Everyone is working hard, exhausted at the end of the day, wants time to themselves.. but there are so many things going on, lunch needs packed, bath and bed time routine for our daughter, workouts, dinner, laundry, etc. and by the end of all that you're just done and want to go to bed. We will get it together again soon as it's just that relationship ebb and flow, but man.. it's rough right now.

BUT. enough of that! Today has been great. I grocery shopped, dropped off recycling, cleared out the yard that was full of these leaves that have been haunting me for way too long, cleaned the house, got together a bag of clothes and kid's toys we no longer use and dropped it off at the thrift store.

While this week has been crazy and intense, there's also been a lot that I've been loving so let's get on to that.

>>> this post contains a couple of Amazon affiliate links - the links to the lotion and hair product - but the rest are not affiliate links. Thanks for reading :] <<<

This is the best smelling lotion ever! I found this at Whole Foods and absolutely love it. It smells like you're peeling an orange but then there's that really warm scent of clove - so good! The smell is intense out of the bottle, but settles down once you rub it on.

I'm all about things that smell good this week. I don't wear perfume or use any scented shampoos, conditioners, or soaps with a strong fragrance so I don't ever smell like anything and well.. I want to smell good 😜 I picked up this coconut milk oil mist for hair and really like it so far. You don't need to use much - like only one spray - and be sure to focus on only the ends of your hair so it won't look greasy.

These frozen burritos have been saving my life this week. It is nice to be able to grab one of these before heading out to work. The macros are fantastic and they taste great! I think the Amy's breakfast tofu scramble wrap might be my favorite - with very similar macros - but this one is awesome too. Check out the macro breakdown:

Lots of protein! I get these from Target and Wal-Mart. I haven't seen them anywhere else in the area.

» some other things I've been loving

» Have you heard of the Light 2 phone? It's a "dumb phone" that can only make calls, text, set alarms, and give basic directions. Its goal is to cure people's addictions to apps.

» some songs I've had on repeat: B-52's - Give Me Back My Man /// The Cramps - Primitive /// N.E.R.D. & Rihanna - Lemon /// Fad Gadget - Back to Nature /// Ariel Pink - Baby /// Young Bleed feat. Master P & C-Loc - How Ya Do Dat /// Kid Sister & Riff Raff - Hide and Seek

» I made this cauliflower taco filling last night and it was awesome! I did mine on the stovetop because I was limited on time.. but I bet it would be even better in the oven. I put the filling in a warm corn tortilla with lettuce, cheese, greek yogurt, and hot sauce. so. good.

» This week's must read: The Role of Highways in American Poverty

» I'm in love with these Asics Metrolyte shoes in black and white, but found out they're discontinued and am having a hard time finding them in my size 😭 I'm currently searching for a pair of casual, low profile tennis shoes that I can wear during the day instead of my Stefan Janoski Nikes because they are covered in a layer of coffee/espresso grounds from work and that stuff is just not going to come out.

I hope that you all have a great weekend!

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