The New Date Night (We Need Your Help)

Now that E is in more of a consistent nighttime routine and we aren’t spending 60-120 minutes trying to soothe her to bed and bounce our brains out (so over the exercise ball) we finally have time for ourselves.  During the week we we end up filling our time trying to catch up on work or cleaning but on Friday nights we are free to take the night off from our chore and work duties.

That being said we don’t really have the money to spend on a sitter and to go out to dinner so we have decided to have date nights in.  That being said we need ideas! We were thinking about having every Friday night be dinner and a movie night but we need ideas for movies and meals to go with them. Our only requirements are that they have to be movies that are already out on DVD or Netflix and meal ideas have to be relatively budget friendly and vegan(izable).

So what are your suggestions? What is a good movie you have seen lately or a recipe that you think we should try? Or do you have a good themed movie and meal idea? Send your ideas our way and we will feature a new date night each week!

Get Your Summer Satisfaction

As a former 9-5er I know what a challenge it can be to enjoy all that summer has to offer during the week.  However there are a number of things that you can do to enjoy the longer days and warmer nights (and not just on the weekend).

  • Join a team. Or in my case have my husband join a team so I can go to his games. Often you will find adult recreational league sports teams and even many companies have summer sports teams to play on.  In our area you can find softball, soccer and even kickball leagues for adults to participate in during the week. Neil plays softball once per week and it’s a great way for him to get out, enjoy the weather and socialize during the week (as well as stay active).

  • Run clubs. Join (or start) a summer run club.  One of the greatest things about summer is that it stays lighter out so much later which allows for running outside to be more accessible after work.  Many athletic stores, running associations and even some towns/cities have summer group runs that are after work (and some before).
  • Farmers Markets. What better way to enjoy summer than to also enjoy locally grown food? Often we think of going to weekend farmers markets but did you know that many areas also have afternoon/evening weekday farmers markets? This is the perfect opportunity to get outside, do a little shopping and enjoy summers bounty!
  • Local Studios. Check out what type of summer events are happening at your local yoga studios or Lululemon.  In our area we have one studio that offers AM yoga on a dock at the waterfront and our local Lululemon has a number of outdoor fitness events that go on (and most are free).
  • Local Events Calendar. Check out your town/cities local events calendar to find out what fun summer events are coming up for the week/month.  Often you will find outdoor movie nights, carnivals, live music, brewers festivals and so much more.  Locally we have a movie night in the park once per month in June, July and August and every Thursday night there is Summervale a fun little event down at a local cooperative farm that features local food and lots of activities.
  • Eat Outside. Take advantage of the weather by dining al fresco!  You could plan to pack up a picnic to take to a park or down by a lake after work, head out for dinner at one of your favorite restaurants or make a home cooked meal and enjoy it on your porch (patio, balcony, lawn, etc). This is as great way to really enjoy summer and to create a fun dining experience for your whole family.

 

Q: What are you favorite ways to take advantage of all that summer has to offer?

Lunch: Where Are The Leftovers?

If you’re like me Monday through Friday our lunches usually always consists of leftovers from the previous nights dinner, however sometimes there are no leftovers to be found. When this happens it would be so easy to grab lunch out which is going to cost you more and isn’t as healthy as creating your own meals at home.

So rather than spend $6-8 on a sandwich at the local deli or hitting up the the vending machine at work for your afternoon snack keep a well stocked pantry and refrigerator to create a healthy and delicious lunch.

Items to Keep On Hand:

  • Greens (romaine, kale, or other salad greens)
  • Salad toppings (carrots, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, ect)
  • Frozen Brown Rice Wraps
  • Quinoa <– only takes about 15 minutes to cook up!
  • Veggie Burgers
  • Beans
  • Condiments (oil and vinegar, vegenaise, hummus, ect.)
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Nut Butter

Lunch Ideas (including snacks):

  • Mega Green Salad with veggies, chickpeas and salad dressing of your choice, an apple and 1 oz walnuts
  • Greens topped with veggies, veggie burger and condiment of your choice (fruit or agave sweetened BBQ sauce is great), a 1/2 cup of baby carrots and 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • Brown rice wrap filled with quinoa, black beans and salsa, small green salad with dressing of your choice, 1/4 cup of homemade fruit and nut trail mix
  • Quinoa bowl with beans, sauteed kale and condiment of choice (love a little shoyu or tamari and sriracha), a medium banana and 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • Brown rice wrap with hummus and veggies, 1 apple sliced and 1 tablespoon organic peanut butter

 

As you can see it can take less than 20 minutes in the morning to put together a quick, easy, inexpensive and healthy lunch!  All you need is to keep your pantry/fridge stocked and you can throw something together in a pinch without having to sacrifice you health or your budget.

What do you usually eat or lunch? Do you bring your lunch or buy out? Are you a fan of leftovers for lunch?

P.S. If you haven’t yet don’t forget to enter to win one of the great Chia Goodness giveaway packs!