Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Month of Dinners

I am a Real Simple addict. Have been for yeeears. It's one magazine subscription I've never been able to give up. So this month, one of the features was this fabulousness: a month of dinners, complete with recipes and WEEKLY SHOPPING LISTS.

(I'm typing this up on the sad-excuse-for-a-functional-app Blogger app, which has zero functionality, so bear with the full links as opposed to a hyperlink. My apologies :( )

Color me thrilled!!!!

I've been attempting to meal plan every week but only manage it about 60% of the time. So this was an answer to my prayers! I glanced through the recipes but didn't give it too much thought. There were a couple that I knew would be a gamble but I figured we'd try them anyways.

So Monday we all loaded up and went to Kroger with my ready-made grocery list in hand. Now, I am a two-to-three times per week grocery shopper normally. So the sticker shock of a one-trip shopping bill was not. pretty. But we survived once I figured it was probably less than what I spend hitting up the store several times a week. Happy by-product of this experiment.

Meal one: beef and mushroom ragu with fettuccine.

Score: eight thumbs (hey, there are four of us eating here!) way up!! Deeeeelicious! And Boyo was all about it, so that makes it a win! He talked about it all evening and the next day. Score one for Real Simple and me!!

Meal two: eggplant and tofu stir fry.

Score: eight thumbs down. Umm, not our cup of tea. We ordered a pizza. :/

Meal three: roasted chicken with collards

Score: five thumbs up. A draw. Chicken was yummy, same with the tomatoes and even the onions. The collards, well, as far as sautéed greens go, these were the best I've ever made. That being said, we still didn't really like them.

That's as far as we've gotten in this experiment but I'm excited to continue. It's nice not having the stress of "what the heck are we having for dinner tonight????" hanging over my head every evening, that's for sure! We'll see where we land by the end of the month, but hopefully we'll find several more recipes we're all about. If not, I'm afraid there will be a lot more pizza and Chipotle in my future....

Stay tuned...

(Photos courtesy of

Friday, September 21, 2012


-Hopefully- I will remember to take pics later for a more interesting and informative post, but for now I just had to share this extra special glimpse into my life.

I made tonight's dinner this afternoon so I wouldn't have to worry about it later. Fully loaded baked potato soup.

I die.

I *nearly*, and I'm dead serious, licked the pot I cooked it in. I stopped myself just in time and got out a spoon. It's that good.

Keeping' it classy here in Dayton.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Iced coffee

I have a new favorite drink and I have a feeling it's about to save me loads and loads of money. That's yummy on all counts!

I found this breakfast coffee protein shake at and thought I'd give it a try. Minus a few things because I'm lazy. Ya know.

Behold, iced coffee at home!

1 cup coffee
1 cup milk
Sweetener of your choice, to taste. I've used a pack of Splenda which is good, but this morning I tried a teaspoon of maple syrup. Yummmmm.
Ice cubes

Pour ingredients in a glass, stir. Drink.

I mean really, can it get any easier?!?

You are welcome. :D

Sunday, September 9, 2012


5.5 miles in under 55 minutes. MWAHAHAHA!!!!

Too bad I'm running a 5K next month and not a 10K :P

The Hubbs and I signed up for the 2013 Warrior Dash this morning. We'll be running it with some good friends and I am pretty excited. Hubbs will have done Tough Mudder in April so he'll be well prepared for it but I better start lifting and whatnot to prep for the parts other than running!!

I have no idea what I've gotten myself into.

Woohoo!!! :D

(Obnoxious runner's high, much??)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Week of 9/3/12 Goals

Welllllll......looks like last week's goals are this week's goals...I did finally lost our jogging stroller in about five different places so hopefully
That will be gone soon, and I read Paris, My Sweet (meh), but those were the minor, lazy goals. Very easily met. I really need to try harder...

On a fun note, Boyo starts school today!!! If I'm not too incredibly lazy you may see a pic.

Don't hold your breath.

Monday, August 27, 2012

This week's goals

1. Finish kitchen blog post!!!! Geez.
2. Write blog post for
3. Pick a non-fiction book to read. Suggestions, anyone? I'm a bookworm and am not picky on the topic.
4. Make my earring frame. Pics and tutorial to follow.
5. Make some bird's nest necklaces for Fall Fling.
6. Try out a new breakfast recipe off of pinterest. I have about 50 pinned so chances are there's one for which I have all the ingredients.
7. Add weight lifting to workout routine. I'm doing pretty well with the running 3-4 times a week but feel like my arms could use a workout as well.
8. Sell our extra jogging stroller. Peace out, dust catcher!! *Note for any do not, I repeat do not, need 15374849 different strollers. Get yourself a nice jogger with a rotating front wheel and a nice basket underneath. The end. Amen. Ok, well, while the bambino is in the infant car seat, get something that that handy little contraption snaps into. But after that, one. And now Amen.

Ok, that's all for now. I'll probably update this as the week goes on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I haven't posted on here in almost two months. Ridiculous, I know. And do you want to know why? It's not because I don't have ideas. I have a ton. It's not because nothing happens around here. It does. It's not because my kiddos aren't the most adorable/ridiculous/hilarious munchkins on the planet. They are. It's because I worry about what people will think of what I write. Will they care, think it's ridiculous, think I'm full of myself for assuming people want to read about my life and what goes on in it?

Why the heck do I care???!? This is my blog and I will write what I want to write, gosh darnit! If someone doesn't care to read it, well then that's fine! :) No harm no foul. But I'm not going to allow myself to hold back from
writing simply because of what someone might think of it. That's just silly.

So hopefully you will see much more from me in the near future. I actually have a whole kitchen reno post all typed up and just need to add pictures, so hopefully that one will be up in the next day or so. But as I do most of my work from my iPad I find it difficult to add pics that way. I need to borrow the hubbs' laptop for an hour or two :)

That's all for now...signing off!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Evernote help me!!! And Mint. And meal planning. Because why not throw it all together!

My brain is a scattered mess. an attempt to get myself and my life back under control, Evernote is hopefully coming to my rescue.  I've spent the last hour or so making all sorts of lists that will hopefully get me back on track.  I'll be making posts about each of these at some point or another (because I'm sooo on the ball with this whole blogging business) but here's a still-incomplete-but-in-progress list of my lists.  Yep.

  • Household to do's
  • Fall Fling to do's - An event I'm running for my mom's group, The Family Network.  Don't worry, you'll hear all about it as I turn into a nervous wreck over the next four months.
  • Blog post ideas - What a Shocker!!

Oh, the exciting life I lead.

 The other big things that don't need lists necessarily but are high on my radar right now are budgeting and meal planning.  Oh, and running.  But that's a completely different topic.  The first two somewhat go hand in hand because I've come to realize our budget, while not completely out of control, could certainly use a little help.  Enter!  (Seriously, what the heck did I do before the internet?!?!?)  I'm going to set up some lovely little helpers/alerts/thing-a-majiggers in Mint to let me know when we've spent too much or are getting close to the amount I've set.  We'll see how that goes.

Wait.  Totally went off track where that was supposed to go.  So meal planning.  The biggest problem in our spending is definitely eating out.  We do it way too much and I've figured out it's because we don't meal plan.  I go grocery shopping weekly and we eat everything I buy, but I don't seem to buy much in the way of dinner food.  Breakfast and lunch, I've got your covered.  But dinner, yeah not so much.  So this week we're trying out the Whole Foods recipe app to get our meals on track.  So far so good!  Two meals down, two to go.  (I'm not counting tomorrow because we'll be at a cookout and Saturday we have a party.)  I built in a gimme day because going cold turkey on the no eating out thing is just not going to work for us.  But I think this is really going to help!

Ok, talk about the most random, all over the place post ever.  I'll stop now.  Check back later if you want to subject yourself to more stream of consciousness writing that makes no sense whatsoever.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ch ch ch Chia!

I have no energy.  Ever.  I live on caffeine.  I attribute this ridiculous state of my life to two small but major reasons:

So my lovely friend Emily has been oh-so-gently suggesting I try out Chia seeds.  They're like flax seeds, but better.  The Aztecs/Mayans/all those superpowers from back in the day ate these as one of their staple foods.  According to Ms. Emily, they give her enough energy to run a marathon. Or a couple miles.  Or she can make it through a day of work/crazy-1-yr-old-daughter-nonsense.  Whatever, I'm game.

I've been making green smoothies for a while now, courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, 100 Days of Real Food.  So basically I just added in a couple tablespoons of the handy-dandy chia seeds I ordered off Amazon.  Oh, and let them "gel", i.e. let the chia seeds sit in the yogurt in the fridge for 10ish minutes so they could soften up.  Good call, Em. :)  I couldn't taste the seeds, nor did I crunch on them, and I found I did have a touch more energy that day.  I call that a win!

Oh, and the littlest energy drain, i.e. the Sophsters, thoroughly enjoyed these as well.  Sneaking the greens into the 1 yr old's diet?  Yes, please!

Green Ch Ch Ch Chia! Smoothie Recipe
Adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

  • 1.5-ish cups plain organic yogurt
  • 1-ish cup berries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 bananas (or 1 – 2 tablespoons of honey if you don’t like bananas) (Note: you can use frozen bananas but the texture will turn out closer to ice cream than a smoothie.  Delish, but if you're shooting for a smoothie here I'd use fresh)
  • 2-ish tablespoons milk (Sensing a trend here?  I don't measure, I eyeball.  It's a smoothie people, not major surgery!)
  • A couple handfuls of fresh dark greens (I've done baby spinach, spring salad mix because it was all I had on hand and most recently kale, which worked out just fine) 
  • 2 tablespoons Chia seeds (or flax seeds, but then you can't sing the name of the smoothie)
  • Optional: if using fresh berries (instead of frozen) add some ice cubes
Put yogurt and chia seeds in blender, pop in fridge for 10-15 minutes to soften up seeds.  Once they're ready, add your greens and milk and blend.  This ensures your greens get really blended into the yogurt and you won't walk around with green stuff in your teeth all day.  Once that's all blended and happy, add in your fruit (and ice if that's your jam) and blend. 

Drink up!!  Tis quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Where the heck is my runner's high????

So last fall the Hubbs decided he was taking up running. I was in full support of this venture, provided he did not try to rope me in. I Hate to run. Loathe. What is the point, I've always wondered. I had always been very active in sports in high school; soccer, softball, etc., but track was not my game. Perhaps that is's not a game!! I'm not chasing after a ball trying to score a goal, I'm running in a fracking circle! Oy.

But I digress.

So anywho, Hubbs does a 10K training program, I am his biggest cheerleader, he completes it (in winter, no less, crazy man), tra-la.

Fast-forward to this spring. Now all of a sudden I have decided to try running. I honestly don't know if he has been slowly brainwashing me this past year or if I came up with this hair-brained idea on my own, but by April I had asked for running shoes as my Mother's Day gift. WTF. So obviously and with ill-concealed glee the Hubbs agrees to gift me my shoes. As I have never bought anything but cross-trainers and cleats in my life, I follow his worthy example and buy barefoot-style running shoes. Now, I have never had foot problems in my life. Even after years and years of soccer, softball, basketball, you name it, nary a pain in my pinkie toe. However, three weeks of running barefoot-style and my arches are shooting pains like something's going to rip and my heels feel like nails are being driven up through them. Now, again, I'm no runner but even I know this is wrong. So off I go to Runners Plus with my now-hated Mother's Day gift in hand begging for assistance in buying new shoes.

I've ended up with a neutral-style Brooks shoe that is still supposedly barefoot-style but has waaay more cushion for my sad, sad feet. I'll be taking my first run in them tomorrow evening, so only time will tell. But by God they better not make me feel like an 80yr old who can't walk!!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Welcome welcome! I am brand new to blogging so we'll see how this business goes...the plan for this puppy is just to keep family and friends up-to-date on the Cocuzzi clan happenings, but also to provide pics and helpful hints on projects we do around our house. For instance, we're mid-kitchen re-do, so in the coming weeks I'll be posting about the joys of re-painting cabinets! I repeat, joy. .... I'm also in charge of planning my fabulous mom's group (shout out to The Family Network, what what!!) Fall Fling craft show, so hopefully I'll be crafting up a storm in the coming months and sharing all those goodies on here. Stay tuned, there's so much more to come.... :)