Monthly Menu: July

After I posted the June menu, I got a text message telling me that I “have to keep doing this each  month!” It was a flattering comment, and even if I am doing this for only that one woman, it’s worth it. Mostly because it has been really great for me! We are still loving “Salad Monday” and “Breakfast for Dinner Friday.” Having two or three days a week be themed really helps to get the menu planned quickly!

You can find the recipes on my July Menu Pinterest Board. I am so excited about this menu. My mouth is watering right now. Seriously.

July menu


Once again, I have included the text version just in case it is difficult to read!

July 1: Grilled pork chops, peach salsa (for Mama) and grilled peaches (for the littles),                   green beans, rolls
July 2: Lemon spaghetti with capers and shrimp, salad, glazed carrots
July 3: Biscuit breakfast sliders (egg, sausage and cheese on a biscuit), fruit, yogurt
July 4: Grilled chicken, grilled smashed potatoes, grilled zucchini, salad, and homemade               ice cream with peanut butter cups
July 5: Pot roast, mashed potatoes, salad
July 6: Cobb salad and ciabatta rolls
July 7: Take-out pizza after gymnastics class
July 8: Fish chowder with Cajun sourdough croutons and a green salad
July 9: Pork burgers, baked beans, salad with homemade dill buttermilk dressing
July 10: California breakfast casserole
July 11: BBQ brisket in the slow cooker, fried okra, rolls and salad
July 12-13: I will be at a meeting and unable to cook. Zach will have to eat those yummy                  leftovers from the brisket!
July 14: Lasagna, Caesar salad
July 15: Slow-cooker pulled pork served over cornbread with grilled cauliflower and fruit
July 16: Grilled honey-mustard chicken, tomato-cucumber salad, roasted potatoes
July 17: Farmer’s breakfast skillet
July 18: BBQ ribs on the grill, corn on the cob, steamed broccoli
July 19: Chicken pot pie
July 20: California chopped salad and toast
July 21: Chicken Parmesan sliders, green beans, fruit
July 22: Homemade pizza
July 23: Spaghetti with  meat sauce, Caesar salad, garlic bread
July 24: Pancakes, bacon and fruit
July 25: Chicken tetrazzini, fruit
July 26: Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos
July 27: Chipotle steak salad, toast
July 28: Tomato, avocado and mozzarella grilled cheese, fruit, salad
July 29: Spicy oven-fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, salad
July 30: Leftovers and brownies
July 31: Carb-buster breakfast for dinner

Foodie Friday: Building The Perfect Salad

I don’t know about you, but I get really disappointed when I order a side salad at a restaurant and what I am served is a sad little bowl of shredded iceberg lettuce and maybe a couple little pieces of mealy tomato. It actually ruins my entire dining experience, even if  my main dish was great.

If you got a chance to see my May Menu or my June Menu,  you know we eat a lot of salad at our house- and there is something to building a great salad. Sure, you could buy a ready to eat bag of salad greens and top it with some jarred dressing, but it just wouldn’t really be all that satisfying, and it could be a lot more nutritious!

There are lot of different types of salads, but I’m going to focus on the simple garden/green salad that starts with a base of lettuce and builds from there. I like to start with at least two different types of lettuce. One needs to have some body to it and the other can be more delicate. OR you could use any combination using more than two types of lettuce.

Once I have my lettuce washed and cut up (I like bite-sized pieces or slightly larger. Do not bring me a bowl of shredded lettuce.) I start on veggies. I like to do at least three other vegetables, besides lettuce. My go-to veggies are cherry tomatoes, red onion, and red bell pepper. You could use any veggies you like, and you can use as many as you want!

Next, pile on the toppings. I LOVE goat cheese on a salad. There is just something about the creamy texture and tangy flavor that really compliments my three favorite salad veggies. I also enjoy everything else on my “toppings” list shown below.

Top with you favorite salad dressing and you’re on your way. You can buy salad dressing in bottles in the store. They’re not even very expensive, but I do not really care too much for store-bought salad dressing. (I heard somewhere that making my own salad dressing makes me a hipster- which I am not, but to each his own!) My favorite salad dressing as of late is a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  I start with 1/2 cup olive oil in a mason jar, I add in 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, one pressed clove of garlic, salt and pepper and  good squeeze of honey. I put the lid on and shake it all up. Easy peazy.

salad formula


Wellness Series: Professional Well Being

Having a good professional well being means working and living in congruence with your values, strengths and talents. It is actualizing your potential and pursuing meaningful goals. You are developing or refining new skills and abilities to keep pace with the demands and opportunities at hand. Your career is on track or at least aligned with your aspirations.  As a leader you are effective, inspiring and respected for your contribution. You know how to coach others to bring them to their potential. You have a vision for what’s next and a plan to get there (for yourself, your team and the work at hand). When work and life throws challenges at you, you are able to tackle them and know how to recover to maintain your resilience.

For many people, the work-life balance is a struggle. It is important to manage this struggle so that you are getting your job done while also getting enough time on leisure activities and enough time with friends and family. If there is a magic potion to get this done, I haven’t ever seen it. I think some of the best ways to achieve professional strong professional well being is to keep learning- always.

It’s important to fully admit that you don’t know everything. Not even in your field of expertise. There will always be people who know something you don’t. Just embrace that and seek those people out so that you can learn from them. Attend continuing education or in-services in your field. Stay up on the latest technologies and research so that you are ready for the next curve-ball coming to you.

Develop your leadership skills and then use them to encourage your team. The better your team is working, the less you will have to do “on the fly.” If you whole team is healthy and thriving, you will be much less likely to need to run interference or clean up a professional mess. Those professional messes are what keep a lot of people at the office later than they want or on weekends.

Learn everything you can about managing your finances. Get out of debt and stay out! Save as much as you can for your retirement and start saving as early as you can, so that you can retire and enjoy it! Keeping on top your financial situation will greatly improve your ability to have, and enjoy, your leisure time.

These three things are big things. They are not small and they might not be easy or quick, but they are so worth it!

Next week is our last week in the wellness series. We will be discussing social wellness.

Foodie Friday: June Menu

After doing the May menu, I had such an easy month of grocery shopping and meal prep. Sooo I decided to do it again. Sorry it’s almost a week late!!

This month I had to plan really quick meals for Tuesday nights because Amelia has gymnastics and we don’t get home until nearly 7:00 pm. I need dinner to pretty much be done because we usually eat at 6:00 and the little one is tired.

Again, you can find the majority of these recipes on my June Menu Pinterest Board.


june menu

June 1: grilled chicken drumsticks, fried okra, garden salad
June 2: pizza (takeout)
June 3: slow-cooker pulled pork sandwiches, apples, salad
June 4: hobo dinners with hamburger patties, bell pepper, onion and fried potatoes
June 5: breakfast burritos, fruit
June 6: (Sophie’s birthday party) chicken salad sandwiches, grilled fruit, chips
June 7: shish kebabs, salad, rolls
June 8: “southern” salad with shrimp and toast
June 9: chili dogs, fruit, garden salad
June 10: bruschetta salmon, caesar salad, green beans
June 11: grilled pork chops, squash, salad, cornbread
June 12: Farmer’s breakfast skillet, fruit
June 13: hamburger steaks, hasselback potatoes, cucumber/tomato salad
June 14: baja fish tacos, mango salsa, zucchini
June 15: loaded bbq chicken salad
June 16: fancy grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit, salad
June 17: homemade burritos, salsa and guacamole
June 18: lemon-pepper baked cod, asparagus, fruit and toast
June 19: homemade waffles, bacon and fruit salad
June 20: grilled chicken, peach salsa, fried okra, toast
June 21: ribs, pasta salad, sliced tomato and cucumber
June 22: ribeye steak salad
June 23: traditional tacos, guacamole, beans
June 24: homemade fish sticks, fruit salad, corn on the cob
June 25: homemade pizza, salad
June 26: eating at church picnic
June 27: pork burgers, green beans, fruit
June 28: beef fajitas, baked beans, guacamole
June 29: Chef’s salad
June 30: slow-cooker Italian chicken, salad, rolls, fruit

Wellness Series: Emotional Wellness

A positive sense of emotional well being enables an individual to be able to function positively in society and meet the demands of everyday life. People in good mental health have the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune. Everyday emotional well-being also involves identifying, building upon, and operating from your strengths rather than focusing on fixing problems or weaknesses. The better you are able to master your emotions, the greater your capacity to enjoy life, cope with stress, and focus on important personal priorities.

When you want to work toward better emotional health, a good place to start is with your own talents. If you can identify what you are good at, and then work to improve your skills in that area, you can really build some self-confidence and improve your emotional well being.

Another really simple thing to do is get adequate rest and eat a healthy diet. Being tired or hungry can dampen anyone’s spirit really quickly. Once we are in a bad mood, our sense of self worth can decline. It’s important to keep our bodies healthy in order to keep our minds healthy- and vice versa.

Here are a few other things you can do:

  • Get some sun whenever you can
  • Do something good for someone else
  • Learn about stress management techniques
  • Take 3 deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed
  • Exercise- doesn’t have to be stringent, regimented or formal. Just move!
  • Take breaks. If you can’t afford a vacation this year, at least take some time off for yourself. You don’t have to fly somewhere, just relax at home doing things you enjoy.
  • Appreciate the world around you. Try to notice the beauty in your surroundings. Enjoy the simpleness of a birds’ song or a gentle breeze.

Next up: Professional Well Being