Meal Planning via {Part II} + COUPON

So, hopefully you read my post from earlier this week about how I found and think its the answer to my desires to do meal planning effectively. If you didn't get the "Part I" of this post, you should definitely go back and read it!

I've been super excited about cooking this week and am so excited to share my first week of eMeals with you! eMeals provided me with 7 dinner menus, but I opted to only prepare four. Hubby has Bible study on Wednesday and doesn't get home until late and we usually have plans or eat out on the weekends. So, here's a run-down of this week's meals.

Meal 1 >> Grilled Pacific Flat Iron Steak with Broccoli & French Bread <<
Okay, I've never cooked flat iron steak before and I'm so glad the eMeals has exposed me to it. Cooking it on the George Foreman grill was easy and the marinade used was delish. On the eMeals app, I had a heads up that I needed to "marinate ahead."

It was good to have that reminder and when I got home in the evening, my meat was prepped and ready to go. The other thing I really liked about this week's meal plan is that I grilled the full 1.5 lbs of steak, but only half was for that meal. The rest was put in the fridge for meal 2 (and this was in my cooking instructions). It made meal 2 less time to prep since the meat only needed to be reheated.
Meal 2 >> Steak & Bleu Salad with Strawberries & Crescent Rolls <<

Above are the salad ingredients and below is the finished meal. The meal plan not only comes with your main dish, but side dishes also. Who would have thought to pair sliced strawberries with bleu cheese and balsamic vinegar? Definitely not me, but to my worked! Feels good to be preparing something new. 

Meal 3 >> Feta Chicken Pockets with Fruit Salad <<
Meal 4 >> Buffalo-Style Chicken Pizza with Celery Stick and Ranch Dressing <<
This was my first time making pizza and that was fun! The chicken was great paired with bleu cheese (an ingredient used earlier in the week), mozzarella cheese and celery.

So, I would say (and my hubby would say) that all four meals I prepared this week were really good and none of it had I ever prepared in my home before. The shopping list was convenient with the eMeals app and this week's meals cost me less than $50 (which included buying some staple items which I should have already had in the kitchen).

I'm looking forward to my next week of eMeals. Here's a glimpse at my menu!
Okay, what are you waiting for? If you need help with meal planning, you should definitely head over to eMeals and sign up!
If you're not sure yet, here's a little incentive...
Until July 4th, you can save 15% with the code FOURTH.

**As stated before, these are my honest thoughts. I was not contacted by eMeals
to provide a review and have not been compensated in any way.**

Goodbye GFC! Hello Bloglovin'!

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Currently July

I'm link up with with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the monthly Currently post!

A few explanations:

Loving - I just recently started meal planning using It's awesome! I love the recipes that are provided and the app makes my weekly grocery shopping trip so easy. You can read more about my experience withe eMeals here.

Thinking - I've been non-stop thinking about next school year and working on little projects, which I plan to share on the blog soon. But, I seriously need to stop and enjoy the summer a bit!

Wanting - I'm joining in on a book study with Sherrie @ Middle School Math Rules and my book is finally order and on its way! We're studying Minds on Mathematics by Wendy Ward Hoffer. I'm excited because this book is about using math workshop at the middle school level.

I'm also excited about my new personal blender that I ordered. I already have a Magic Bullet, but I'm thinking this Oster My Blend will work well since most of the time I make Smoothies, I'm on the go! I love how the blender cup has a lid. I bought an extra cup too!

Ooohhhh! And I just remembered that I hav ea couple of VistaPrint orders on the way too! Can't wait to share...

Okay, I think all the others are self-explanatory! Head on over to the link-up to see more Currently July posts...

New Classroom...EEK!!!

I am super excited and super overwhelmed about my new classroom! I can't believe I have a room with windows and it's so large! Today, I dropped by school to drop off some things to get them out of my house and to possibly do a little cleaning while I was there.

To my surprise, all the furniture was along the walls and the things I had already brought to school were staked on top of cabinets and desks. While, I didn't get any work done today, I am excited about how it looks like a blank slate (other than the stuff the previous teacher left in the cabinets and on the shelves).

Window & a SMART Board...Woot!

...and another window! Woot! Woot!

I've already shared my classroom decor inspiration once before. If you haven't seen it already, check out this post! And I can't wait to give you a classroom tour once I have it all set up!

Meal Planning via {Part I}

One of the things on my long list to accomplish this summer is getting on board with meal planning. I have tons of recipes pinned, but rarely do I attempt them unless I'm preparing for a get-together or just itching to try something new. Once I decide I want to try, I have to go to the grocery store and often find the recipe being more effort than I'm willing to give. This leaves me with doing the same old thing for dinner and as of late, picking up dinner.

So, I started researching meal planning websites and apps. After reading a few reviews and blogs, I decided to pursue A one year subscription of $58 for dinner gives you 7 recipes each week, along with prepared shopping lists. This video definitely sums up the need for meal planning in my life!

Anytime I decide to buy something online, I always look for a coupon code and was able to find one for 20% off, but then I decided to search Groupon and was pleasantly surprised that eMeals was one of this week's deals. $29 for a one-year dinner subscription...SCORE!!! Unfortunately, that option was sold out, so I had to go with the $39 option that gives me 7 dinner and 5 lunch menus a week. This option was still less than just the dinner option with 20% off, so I got twice the variety for a great price (63% off the regular price)! And what convinced me further is that it's Dave Ramsey approved and that there is a handy, dandy app for eMeals that allows me to customize my menu by skipping meals I don't want to prepare and it automatically updates my shopping list. I knew there was no way I was cooking seven days a week.

So, here is my menu for the first week. I decided to go down to four meals. eMeals allows me to customize the plan based on a menu type (i.e. low fat, low carb, clean eating, gluten free, slow cooker, etc.), the number of people I'll be feeding and base my shopping list around a preferred grocery store. For the first month, I've chosen the low fat menu for 2 and Walmart pricing. I also love the little notes that let me know if I need to do some prep work.

eMeals estimated the total that I should spend at the grocery store based on the store I chose and their current sales ad. I love how I could just check things off as I found them at the store or at home before I went shopping. I was also able to add items to my list.

And here is my total...less than $4 off...and I imagine that some of that price difference is the staple items I needed to buy that weren't already in my kitchen.

So far, I'm impressed by what eMeals has to offer. The real test, however, will be how the meals taste. I'll be back with an update at the end of the week! In the mean time, you should definitely check out eMeals. I think it's going to be worth it!

Check out the link-up for more meal planning inspiration:

**These are my honest thoughts. I was not contacted by eMeals
to provide a review and have not been compensated in any way.**

New Floors + Jamaica!

I am so excited to be rid of all the carpet in my home! It feels like a brand new house and I'm rearranging things to make sure it stays that way for a while...feeling new!
The process for flooring almost 1100 square feet was interesting and took less time than we expected.
The first change we've made is the entertainment center. In the picture above, you can see the old set up and below you can see the new. I am so proud of myself, because I did not go out and buy new furnishings.

We had an extra bookcase in our study that will no longer be used since we've moved the desk to a smaller space. So, I just turned the Ikea Expedit bookshelf on its side, added a few baskets to the bottom row, and voila...a much needed update to our entertainment center!

I still have some more adjustments to make and some organizing to do since we had to move things off the floor in order for the floors to be installed. I hope to have that done by the end of this week! We shall see!
Flooring was done on Friday, and we left for Jamaica on Monday! I'm so sad we didn't take many pictures.
The hubby saw it as an opportunity to take a break from photography. I know you're probably thinking, you could have used your phones, but I'm glad to say that we did not turn on our cell phones once the entire about unplugging! We both got some much needed rest and relaxation...and a little adventure!
Doesn't hubby look like he's having a blast on the bobsled?! We definitely had our share of adventure with climbing Dunn's River Falls, bobsledding, and zip lining all in one day! The resort was amazing! The beach was beautiful! The weather was ideal! Jamaica was great!

The best thing about both the new floors and the trip to Jamaica is that we did not put a single penny on credit! We saved this past year and were able to pay both in cash! We are seriously working the Dave Ramsey plan in the Howard Home! Woot! Woot!

And now it's back to reality! I'm working on a few things and hopefully I'll have some blog posts soon regarding the current book I'm reading, my structured quiet time, meal planning, and fitness!

Thanks for reading!!!

{Monday Made It} Teacher Toolbox

So, this teacher toolbox has been all over Pinterest for the past year or so. While, I loved the idea from the moment I saw it, I was not compelled to make one because it looked too tedious. That is the furthest fromt the truth. This project took me about 20 minutes and $20 and I'm so glad I did it!

I bought the Stack-On 22-Compartment Storage Cabinet from Home Depot. I'm not going to post directions because you can find them multiple places. I used the directions provided by Leslie @ Jack of all Trades and printed my labels from a free template provided by Elizabeth @ Fun in Room 4B. I used scrapbook paper that I already had at the house and inspired by my current classroom crush from Melanie @ Inspired In Style.

I debated on painting the frame of the toolbox and I'm glad I did! Here's the final product!

As I'm cleaning out and packing up, I've been dropping things in the appropriate drawer of my toolbox and it makes me even more excited about this project.

Resolution Update: 5 Months

If you recall my 2013 resolutions, there were only two...spiritual and physical fitness.

As with most resolutions, I started out strong...I was posting instagram pics everyday from the gym and updating weekly with Fitness Friday posts...but there hasn't been one of those since February 24th. Likewise, I was going through the scriptures and posting Project 52 posts every Tuesday...but there hasn't been one of those since January 29th. I feel like such a failure writing those dates.

So, what does that mean for me? Where do I stand with my resolutions?

Well, I am happy with my weight right now. I can fit clothes comfortably that I haven't worn in a while. Currently, I am down 12 pounds from January 1. The goal I set for myself was 25 pounds in 5 months. The goal was very doable considering that I was down to 159 in April. I've eaten healthy and worked out sporadically since April, but I'm going to get back consistent...Going to the grocery store this weekend and committing to working out four days next week like when I started. I think that goal of 25 pounds is still attainable, but just on a different timeline now.

As for my Bible reading...I have a hard time just picking up and not trying to backtrack to where I left off in my daily plan of reading through the entire Bible. But, trying to start from where I stopped will only overwhelm me more. I have to remember that my general goal was to spend time with God daily. So, I will just jump back in. I can say that I have been praying more consistently even though my time in the Word has not been consistent. Hopefully, I can get both on point at the same time. I was recently encouraged by a post from Lanesha @ We Are the Tabbs. She created a prayer journal that was inspired by the book A Woman after God's Own Heart. I have to admit that this book has been on my bookshelf for years, and I'm just now picking it up. I was so encouraged by the first chapter and haven't put it down. I'm looking forward to finishing this book and structuring my quite time according to the principles I'm learning.

Well, that's where I am...I know it's been a while. The end of the school year is always crazy...wrapping up the school year and brainstorming how to make next year better. Looking forward to the changes I'll be taking on next year as I go back to the classroom teaching 6th grade math!

And I can't stand a pictureless post, so I'll share a couple from today. Today, our students had exams and it was an early release day. Students are known for doing foolish things the last days of school, but not here. The Dallas Police Department Mounted Patrol was an excellent deterrent of bad behavior at the end of the day.

And of course, we had to get a picture with them. On the left is Gus and on the right is Zeus. Thanks, Mikayla & Elaine for entertaining me and posing for a pic with the horses!

One more day of school! WOOHOO!!!!

BTW, thanks Raytosha and Donna for asking me for an's way over due!