Tuesday: Salad with Grilled Chicken/Turkey Sandwich

For today’s lunch, Joel had exactly what I had yesterday. The only difference is he had a whole sandwich, while I only had a half.

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Joel’s turkey sandwich and sides

I had a salad. I much prefer spinach/arugula salads over lettuce salads. I am okay with lettuce if it is romaine and really green but I can’t stand white watery iceberg lettuce…yuck. My salad base was mixed greens and my toppings were blue cheese, blueberries, sliced almonds, and grilled chicken strips. I used a creamy poppyseed dressing. I know creamy dressings aren’t the healthiest, but I prefer a pretty dry salad so I probably don’t even use a teaspoon of dressing. For the sake of time in meal prep, I use pre-sliced Perdue grilled chicken slices, rather than  grilling and slicing my own.

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For my side, I had a pack of cheese and cracker sticks made by Laughing Cow. These are a throwback to the Kraft Handi-Snacks of elementary school, but healthier and just as tasty!

What was on your lunch menu for Tuesday?

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Monday: Turkey Sandwich/Tuna Salad Sandwich , Celery & Peanut Butter, and Cheese

Today’s meal was pretty simple. A good ol’ deli sandwich with some sides. Joel had a whole tuna salad sandwich. I had a half of a turkey sandwich. I used multigrain bread for mine, and regular white bread for Joel’s. Both sandwiches had lettuce, and mine had a little mayo with provolone cheese.

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Joel’s tuna salad sandwich

I am not a huge fan of celery, especially not by itself. I know it is “negative calories” or whatever, so I should probably be shoving it down my throat, but I’m not too keen on the bitter juiciness, combined with the fibrous stalk. But, I sure do love peanut butter. I haven’t had peanut butter and celery probably since elementary school, and I was pleasantly surprised! The peanut butter totally masked the celery, I couldn’t taste it at all.

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My deli turkey 1/2 sandwich

A friend asked if my cheese dries out throughout the week when I prep. The answer is not at all! As long as the cheese is kept in an airtight container, I’ve never had a problem with dryness. Today we had a variety of cheddar, swiss, and mozzarella. They were all great! If you are still having concerns, you can always use individually wrapped Baby Bell or Laughing Cow cheese.

What did you have for lunch on your Monday?

Meal Prep Sunday

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a full meal prep! I still do some level of food preparation on Sundays for the week ahead, but a few things have changed since the last time I posted. I no longer prep breakfast meals, only lunches. My husband’s job has changed recently and he now doesn’t have to leave the house until 11 a.m., so he eats breakfast at home daily. Also, for the last several months I’ve switched to drinking a green smoothie every morning as my breakfast. I always included smoothies in my breakfast rotation, but drinking them daily has really been beneficial. I no longer have to worry about “what’s for breakfast,” and having a green smoothie ensures I start my day off with some vegetables and fruits. It also saves money by not having to buy a variety of breakfast groceries each week–now I only get ingredients for smoothies (recipes to come soon!) and some hearty items like eggs, sausage and bacon for my husband.

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The prep I did this evening created five lunches for my husband, and four for me. I get off at noon on Fridays (HUGE job perk!) so I eat my Friday lunches at home. Ideally, Joel and I would be eating the same thing on the same day, but this week I’m making a conscious effort to use up the items that will go bad the quickest at the beginning of the week. So, his and my meals don’t completely synch up. For the past few weeks I have been making the same lunches every day for an entire week. Prepping this way, Monday and Tuesday are great. By Wednesday, the meals are getting a little boring. By Thursday, I’m dying to drive to McDonalds for lunch. And God bless Joel for eating the same lunch again on Friday! Last weekend I threw a surprise birthday party for my dad and we had a TON of Costco pinwheel wraps leftover. So guess what we had every.day. last week for lunch? Yep, pinwheels. When I asked Joel what he thinks he may like for lunch this week he said “please, Lord, anything but pinwheels!” So this week I wanted to get back into the old routine and switch up the meals somewhat throughout the week. The entire prep took a little longer than it has been lately, but only about an hour total from start to finish. My grocery bill yesterday was about $90, but that included all ingredients for lunches and dinners for the upcoming week. I should have plenty of leftovers for next week, so long as my produce keeps fairly well. (Side note, I grocery shop at our local discount grocery store called Sharp Shopper. It’s seriously the shit. A bag of organic baby kale cost $1.99 and a pint of vanilla Greek yogurt was 99 cents. I don’t know what I did before this store came to our town. It’s definitely my jam.)

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A new thing I added to this prep was super high tech sticky notes. I’ve noticed that sometimes the entire meal doesn’t fit into one plastic container (I knowwwww, I know, I really need to switch to glass!) so I usually have some loose items on the same shelf of my fridge as the main part of the meal. “Side” items include things like apples, sides of dressing, fruit cups, etc. Since I’m the one who prepped, I know what I need to grab with my salad or sandwich container, but my husband doesn’t. He also will sometimes grab my lunch accidentally instead of his own. So this time around I put sticky notes on each container that has our name, the day of the week the meal is for, and what side items to grab. Hoping this will cut out some confusion, and will keep my husband from picking the “good lunches” and leaving me with tuna salad every day. (JK I actually love tuna salad, sorry office mates!)

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So here it is, the final prep. Each day this week I’ll be doing a post about our individual meals for the day. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know! What meals do you include in your weekly meal prep?

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To-Be-Read List

I am CONSTANTLY adding new books to my “to-be-read” list, much faster than I can read them. I get my suggestions from a variety of places, the most common being:

  • Amazon, specifically the “customers who bought this item also bought…”
  • Book bloggers and Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Good Reads (www.goodreads.com)

So, here are the books I’m anxiously awaiting reading!

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillan
The Child by Fiona Barton
Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson
The Trespasser by Tana French
We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley
The Doll’s House by M.J. Arlidge
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Confess by Colleen Hoover
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry
The River at Night by Erica Fenerick
Triptych by Karin Slaughter
Kisscut by Karin Slaughter
Coptown by Karin Slaughter
Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch
Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
No One Knows by J.T. Ellison
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich
The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
This Is Not Over by Holly Brown
The Dark Room by Jonathan Moore
Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough
Ill Will by Dan Chaon
The Guise of Another by Alan Eskens
We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilley
Fellside by M.R. Carey
Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Little Monsters by Lauren Beukes
The Dry by Jane Harper
The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly
I’m Traveling Alone by Samuel Bjork
The Killing Lesosns by Saul Black
Trust No One by Paul Cleave
The Ritual by Adam Nevil
Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
What She Saw byGerard Stembridge
Tornado Weather by Deborah Kennedy

I’d love other suggestions you think I need to put on my radar!

Recently Read Books

Hey guys! My friends ask me all the time “what books do you recommend I read?” When you read as much as I do, that’s a really tough question to answer. I have a really high-tech (sarcasm) way of keeping up with books I’ve read recently, as well as my to-be-read list–I keep them in the “notes” section of my iPhone. I really need to create a spreadsheet and some sort of cool rating and classification-by-genre system, but for now they go in the notes with the title and author, and they get a green emoji check mark when I’ve read them. So I wanted to share with you the books that I’ve read in the past few months, probably since around February or March or so. I have considered giving each one a rating, but then what would keep you coming back to my blog? 😉 If you have any questions or are curious about any of the books listed, feel free to comment and I’ll give you my super quick mini-review! So here it goes, in no particular order:

In the Blood by Lisa Unger
The Girl Before by Rena Olsen
Find Her by Lisa Gardner
The CircleI by Dave Eggers
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
The Ex by Alafair Burke
Birdbox by Josh Malerman
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Love You More by Lisa Gardner
Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
All the Summer Girls by Meg Donoghue
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
I See You by Clare Mackintosh
The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe
Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge
Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Perfect Days by Raphael Montes
In the Woods by Tana French
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
The Life We Bury by Alan Eskens
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
The Widow by Fiona Barton
Those Girls by Chevy Stevens
The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan
Dare Me by Megan Abbot
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman
Saving Grace by Jane Green
Blonde Hair Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall

 

“Find Her” by Lisa Gardner

I love a good crime story. I enjoy the suspense of the “whodunit,” piecing together clues and sorting through red herons. But I am always hesitant to start “detective series” because I’m not a huge fan of police procedurals. I can often get too bogged down in the details, and, sometimes pointless, backstories of the detectives and police personnel. So I was a little hesitant to begin Find Her by Lisa Gardner, as it is a part of the Detective D.D. Warren series. Number ten, actually. I also try my hardest not to read series out of order—I hate reading things in more recent books which can be spoilers for those that came before. But thanks to Find Her’s rave reviews and the fact that my employer’s library had it in stock, I picked it up and was pretty impressed. Gardner’s alternating perspectives between the aforementioned Detective Warren and the victim-turned-potential-perpetrator makes this book a perfect blend between thriller and crime.

Flora Dane has recently returned home after a 472-day abduction, during which she was brutally raped and tortured. While her family desires for her to return to her normal life, normal is no longer enough for Flora. She sets out on a vigilante mission to stop other abductors before it is too late. But when she pursues the disappearance of local college woman, Flora quickly finds herself reliving the nightmares of her own captivity and unable to cope.

This book is extremely fast paced and has constant twists and turns to keep the reader’s interest. In addition to the alternating perspectives, Gardner adds in some flashbacks of Flora’s time with her abductor, which makes the story even more engrossing and gives the reader internal conflict regarding siding with Flora, or, with the law. While some of the plot line may be rather far-fetched, Find Her is an entertaining read, sure to keep thrill seekers and crime enthusiasts on their toes. This was my first novel by Lisa Gardner (pretty insane considering she’s written almost 30,) but I’ve since read Love You More and have Right Behind You  on my TBR list. Reviews promised to come soon!

4.75/5 stars! 

www.lisagardner.com

“In a Dark Dark Wood” by Ruth Ware

I’m 28. I’m at the age where most of my friends have recently gotten engaged or married, or are on their way. So bachelorette parties have been on regular rotation as of late. I’ve been to D.C., Ocean City, and Atlantic City and will be heading to Charlottesville in a few weeks, all in the name of penis straws, bride-to-be sashes, shots of Fireball, and “Never Have I Ever.” Maybe that is why I enjoyed In a Dark Dark Wood  so much, because I felt that I could somewhat relate. Although, thankfully, none of my recent bachelorette adventures have included a murder.

In a Dark Dark Wood begins with Nora/Lee/Lenora receiving a random invitation to her long lost BFF Clare’s hen party (British for bachelorette.) She can’t get a feel for why she was invited, but after talking to another mutual friend decides there’s no hurt in going. The hen party gathers in an almost fully glass cabin in the middle of the woods, ready to celebrate bride-to-be away from civilization.

Nora can’t admit to the group that she hasn’t spoken to Clare in over ten years, she isn’t invited to the wedding, and she doesn’t even know who Clare is marrying, without ruining the illusion that she and Clare are blissfully reunited in the name of love and everlasting friendship.

The book alternates between scenes of tequila shots and bumps of cocaine, and Nora in the aftermath in a hospital bed, no memory of the two nights prior. I enjoyed the flipping back and forth, I felt that it added to the suspense and whodunit appeal.

A story of murder, marriage rituals and dark jealous friendships, In a Dark Dark Wood will keep you on the edge of your seat as a quick, thrilling read.

4/5 stars.

www.ruthware.com