Chillin’ out, Maxin’, Relaxin’ all Cool

Summertime is a glorious time.  For students and teachers alike, it’s the most beautiful two or three months of the year.  By this time every summer for the past few years, I have already booked it out of town and headed to the mountains.  This year, though, due to two beautiful friends and their upcoming wedding🎊, I’m sticking around Austin a few weeks longer than usual.

These three weeks mark not only my first teacher summer, but the longest span of summertime I have spent in Austin in years.  It’s a unique period of time.  After my tour of high school graduation parties, (hooray and congratulations to my beautiful McCallum graduates!), my best friends heading to Colorado, some permanently and some temporarily 😫, I have been left with a couple weeks full of time to myself.  So what else is a single girl left to do but make a killer batch of sangria and lay poolside for 10 days straight?  To all my single ladies, all my teacher friends, and all those with sunny weather time to fill, here’s the recipe to a good time.🍹

First, I signed up for VBS, which is, for those of you who didn’t grow up in the glory of the Bible belt, Vacation Bible School.   I finally joined a church this year, and needed a both an opportunity to get involved as well as a reason to wake up and shower every morning, so VBS sounded like an answer to this summer girl’s prayers.  So every morning, I wake up, spend three hours with 14 third graders (who, despite my impeccable teacher skills, I have 0 control over), and then I come home to lay poolside.

Ingredients for the best poolside experience of your life:

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  1. Pool float.  Have you seen all of the trendy girls laying out on pizza and donut pool floats?  Pretty cute.  You could go that direction, or you could be a #thriftygirl instead of a #trendygirl, save $30,  and get this $8 pool float from Amazon.  🤔
  2. Cute cup with a straw.  This way, you don’t have to exert your stomach muscles to sit up to take a sip of sangria. And, you look cute. 🤗  Check the dollar section at Target.
  3. Sangria.  Do I drink this by myself?  Yes.  Should I be ashamed of solo day drinking?  No.  I spent the morning at VBS, remember?

 

BA Poolside Sangria:

Really, this sangria consists of what I already had in my kitchen.  It’s a beautiful concoction.

The following ingredients are not measured, and may be poured in varying amounts depending on your current needs.

  1. orange juice (you could also use concentrate)bottle_ruby
  2. Cupcake Cabernet Sauvignon
  3. Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka
  4. grapefruit La Croix (substitute with champagne if you’re really tryna #turnup)
  5. fresh limes, juiced and sliced
  6. frozen strawberries, or any other fruit you have
  7. I added a splash of pomegranate juice

 

Combine.  Stir.  Shake.  Etc.  Drink responsibly.

Lather up in suntan oil, grab a good book, (here’s what I’m reading), convince your dog that swimming is fun, and lay poolside until your healthy glows starts to feel not so healthy.  Sleep.  Repeat.

 

 

 


Adulting Part II

I know what you’re thinking…adulting part II?  But where is adulting part I?!  Erin, teach me how to be an adult!  Well, awhile ago I told you about budgeting, and while I did’t title it “Adulting Part I,” it definitely was.  Balancing my budget has been one of the most adult-ish things I’ve done in my life.  The second, as you’re about to read, is cooking and meal prep.

A couple of months ago, I decided that if I wanted to be a real grown up, I needed to start eating like one.  My struggling budget was admittedly also part of the motivation.  😓  So for the past couple of months, I’ve been spending a good portion of my Sundays prepping food for the whole week.  It might be the OCD in me talking, but there is something so beautiful about a fridge loaded up with a week’s worth of healthy, packed meals.  Okay, definitely the OCD in me.  😳

One of the biggest reasons I have stayed away from cooking for so long is because of the time commitment.  Really, who has time to come home and cook every day?!  That is something that will take me many years to comprehend.  Meal prep, however, has been the exact opposite: an incredibly time efficient, money efficient, and, like I said, satisfying new endeavor.  I cook, (well, most of the time, crockpot) on Sundays, and my meals are done for the whole week.  What a beautiful thing.

There have been a few recipes that I have become obsessed with, so I thought I would share the good news with my mom and whoever else still reads this blog.

All pictures I am about to share are not my own.  They are the beautiful creations of those who have come before me/have more talent and photographic drive than me.

slow cooker chicken enchilada quinoaa 2Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa, by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

This is my absolute favorite.  It’s easy, healthy, and delicious.  I’ve been buying double of all of the ingredients when I go shopping, because I know I’m going to want to make it again.  It’s been taking me about an hour to prep the chicken and vegetables and to put it all into the crockpot, and then it’s done and ready to go in three hours.  Seriously, if you only take one recipe from this post, this is the one.  The only edits I’ve made to this recipe is that I just cook it with the green onions and cilantro in it, since I’m prepping for the whole week and not just one meal.

 

Healthy Tuna Stuffed Avocado 1Tuna Stuffed Avocado, by The Stay at Home Chef

This isn’t a crockpot recipe, but it’s easy and delicious.  I ate in for lunch every day for a week and never got sick of it.  It also didn’t smell super tuna-y, which was very nice for everyone sitting near me.  One day I cut up the avocado, added it to the salad, and ate it as a wrap.  Yum.

 

 

34Pineapple Chicken Salad Wraps, by Skinny Mom

These are also a new favorite.  I have made batches of this chicken salad twice now, and have not regretted a bite of it.  To make it a little more healthy (not that it’s unhealthy the way it is), you can increase the ratio of Greek yogurt to light mayo.  You could probably even ditch the mayo all together and just use yogurt, but I haven’t been so bold yet.  This salad is also great on its own, but the wrap just makes it even better.  I added avocado half of the time, which I seem to do to every recipe.  I’ve also started saving the chicken broth after cooking the chicken, and reusing that broth to make chicken tortilla soup.  Am I brilliant or what?

 

8af064f4-817e-43ee-a046-ba0a7591b9ad.1024x768_q85_cropTurkey and Quinoa Meatball Lettuce Wraps, by Gathered Table

I’ve only made these once, but they are sure to become a staple, as last week I was more then happy to eat these wraps for dinner 4 out of 5 nights.  They are delicious and very healthy, meeting my basic two requirements.  The only improvement I would add to the recipe is to use more salt.  I also smothered them in ketchup inside my lettuce wraps. 😋  Gathered Table is also a really great resource in general.  If you’re willing to pay the small subscription fee, you can create a whole calendar of meals and menus and it will create organized grocery lists for you.  I don’t need any of these features right now, seeing as I only cook 1 or 2 recipes a week, but it could be super helpful for anyone who cooks more often.

 

minisMini Frittata Breakfast Sandwiches, adapted recipe

I pulled a little bit from a couple of different recipes to start out, and now I just throw whatever veggies and cheese I have on hand into these delicious breakfast sandwiches.  The most recent recipe includes:

  • egg whites
  • kale
  • cherry tomatoes
  • provolone cheese
  • salt, pepper, & good ol’ Tony C’s

I throw all my ingredients into a muffin tin, bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, let cool, stick each one into the middle of an English muffin, and freeze in foil and ziplocks.  It takes about 2 minutes to heat them up in the morning.  Delicious.  I’ve also used avocado (of course), turkey bacon, and feta cheese.  So far, everything has worked well, although my recent recipe has been my favorite.  The two recipes I pulled from were Oh Sweet Day (also their picture being used), and Food Addict and Fitness Fanatic.

 

There are a handful of other recipes I have made as well, but these have been the favorites and the ones I will most definitely turn to again and again!  Anyone else out there a huge fan of meal prep?