Weekend Essentials

Happy Sunday! Are you ready for the week ahead? I’m still thinking about the weekend and wishing it were still here….sigh. Why? It was a good weekend with not too much work and the right mixture of fun and relaxation.

Here were this weekend’s essentials:

Decaf almond milk lattes. Essential when you’re averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night and by Friday your brain is FRIed.


Post-work beers. OR a single beer because I’m still BF-ing and my tolerance is still sooo low.


Buffalo chicken salads.


5 mile runs with a baby. Where I only had to hold the stroller for one mile because B was there too!


Trolley rides through neighborhoods you are looking to buy houses in!


Ice cream. Because when it’s 75 degrees in October, pumpkin pie ice cream is a must.


And pumpkin bar cookies. They go well with said pumpkin pie ice cream.


Homemade pizza. It’s even better than takeout in my opinion.


Scary movies. I hate scary movies but once a year we do a scary movie night with friends around Halloween. This year, the Mist, was more of a monster/supernatural movie and it reminded me of Stranger Things so I was okay with it.

Homemade brunches.


Delicious Halloween themed treats. B’s mom made them – amazing, huh?


And of course cute babies!


Now, GO INDIANS!!! Here’s to hoping we do the same thing tonight as we did last night!!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your weekend essential?
  • What type of coffee do you like?
  • Are you watching the World Series?

I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

3:30 a.m.

[[inspired by this blog post from my dear IRL mommy blogger friend Reanna]]

It’s 3:30 a.m. and I’m up again. Up again feeding the little guy. FW still doesn’t sleep through the night (who are all these parents who say their kids slept through the night starting at 2 months?!) and I’m in his room again for a feeding.

It’s 3:32 a.m. and I’m half asleep. I’m still holding onto FW so tight as he eats, afraid that if I hold him too loosely he may just disappear into the darkness and I may wake up and this whole motherhood thing will have all been a crazy, amazing dream.

It’s 3:35 a.m. and I’m tired. So tired that I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the week ahead. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to turn on “work Melissa” and off “mom Melissa.”  I worry that if this keeps up, I’ll fail at both. Part of me worries that I already am.

It’s 3:39 a.m. and my eyes are bleary. It’s often at this time of night (or is it morning?) that I find myself tearing up, partially from exhaustion, but mostly because of how much I find myself loving FW. I wonder if it’s normal to love a 13 pound human so so so much?

It’s 3:42 a.m. and FW is asleep on my lap. His breathing is heavy and his eyes are closed, yet I haven’t gotten up to put him down. I know I should go to sleep (for another 1.25 hours until my alarm goes off for my workout … or another hour until he wants to eat again – whichever comes first) but can’t bring myself to carry him back to his crib. As much as these feedings tire me out, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want them to end. I’m savoring the moment, his breathing and his smell, knowing that in a few weeks months years, this will all be a memory.


WIAW: Will 2 Apples a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

I have no idea what day it is. I’m in the middle of a cold fog (you know, when you’re sick and not sure which way is up?) and also a fog from taking care of a sick baby who is not eating and suffering an ear infection. Oh what? It’s Wednesday? Well there you go – glad I could resurface just in time for What I Ate Wednesday. This was Monday’s eats. Right when I really started feeling sick.

The day started off with … some meds! Yup, we had a trip to the doctor in store for FW so all I had time for was some medication.* For me, and for FW. Lame, I know, but even though my morning started earlier (the baby was up at 4 a.m. instead of my usual 5 a.m. wakeup) and the doctor’s appointment wasn’t until 9:30, somehow the morning went by too fast and that’s all I had time for. Deal with it.


*I learned that if you’re breastfeeding, there are also very few actual types of cold medication that are approved. Which also is probably adding to my sick-head-fog…lack of meds!

When I got into the office, I had time to eat a muffin and an apple (this is apple #1) before heading into meeting after meeting.

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I had meetings through lunch, but luckily I had made some energy balls so I had a few of these before my afternoon of meetings.20161024_112949

When my meetings were over I ate this salad. I didn’t realize the photo was so blurry, but it was spinach, roasted sweet potato and delicata, tomatoes, some broccoli rabe and leftovers from a salad I had eaten over the weekend – chicken, edamame, feta, corn.20161024_153506

Afternoon snacks included another apple (apple #2!) and some almond butter.20161024_153740

AND this delicious drink I made with the Swanson apple cider vinegar – it was water, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, cinnamon and some truvia. 20161024_173901

Dinner was taco night!  We had leftover veal breast from an amazing dinner B had made Saturday and we decided to use the meat for tacos.


This was my taco salad. I may have had a few extra bite after this salad as well.20161024_192623

BUT I still saved room for dessert – ice cream! It felt good on my sore throat.


And that was my What I Ate Wednesday eats!
Some questions for you:

  • What do you like to eat when you’re sick?
  • Have you ever had any spicy ice creams?


October Weekends=One Sentence Per Photo

Welcome to my weekend update, one sentence per photo style. I’m coming down with a cold and feeling not-so-hot, so this is the best way to share everything from the past two days, without using too much of my brain. Here’s a quick summary of my weekend.

Started Saturday morning off with a 4 mile run.


We did shopping for the week at the West Side Market (here is what we are eating this week!).


We enjoyed good food (and beer) at Ladies Craft Beer Society, October edition.20161022_160121

The craft included mason jars. 20161022_162002

Finished product= mason jar candle holders!20161022_174509

B made me dinner – braised veal breast with artichoke hearts and onions. 20161022_204734

FW turned four months old and we somehow managed to snap a photo.20161023_083127-copy

And did lots of Nose Frida-ing – he’s got his first cold.


A Sunday morning walk because I wasn’t feeling well enough for a run 😦


At least it was a gorgeous morning!


After some afternoon relaxing, some afternoon baking.


And B and I made pasta for dinner.


So B could make this deliciousness.


And that’s a wrap! I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Weekly Meal Plan

Now that I’m a working mom, I find that I don’t have as much time to cook. I also don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking or thinking about cooking, because I’m either working, sleeping or spending time with FW. That’s why I’ve started planning meals* in advance. This way on Saturdays we can go to the West Side Market, pick up our ingredients for the week ahead, Sunday I can do some minor prep, and then we’re set for the week. It makes my life easier and helps when I get home and am too tired to even start to think about dinner. Some things that are working really well right now:

  1. Planning one meal as a freezer meal that takes little to no preparation. This works two ways – this means I plan a meal that I can freeze part of and also plan one meal from our freezer. I have a few meals in our freezer that I made when I was home on leave or that I make extra and freeze or even that my mom has given me – and having these once a week (or more!) has been a life saver.
  2. Planning one meal as a crock pot meal. I typically prepare the meal the night before so that when I wake up there is not much to do to prep. Mornings now are pretty crazy so not having to do much in the morning for dinner makes my life that much better.
  3. Trying one new meal a week and having at least one staple meal. Mondays or Tuesdays are usually “new meal day” because I’m the least tired. By the time Wednesday or Thursday hits, I’m too pooped to be creative and try something new. That’s when an old favorite or staple meal comes in.
  4. Not underestimating the power of leftovers! I try to make sure I cook a little extra – either to freeze for a future meal (see #1) or for lunches.

Disclaimer: While this is my fourth week doing this now, who knows how long this will last – and each week is different and flexible – but I thought I’d share with you what we have planned for the week ahead.

Anyway, if you’re wondering, here’s what we’re eating this week:

Sunday: Homemade pasta with broccoli rabe and sausage

B cooks dinner, based on this Lidia recipe

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Pasta making

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Monday: Braised veal breast tacos and taco salads

Saturday night we had braised veal breast with pearl onions (this amazing recipe) and we have tons of leftover veal – it will be sooo good with tacos! And then all we need to do is get the tortillas, beans, greek yogurt, avocado and cheese ready.

Tuesday: Slow cooker creole chicken and sausage

Last year I went to New Orleans at this time and bought a ton of creole and cajun spices. I came back, and when I was pregnant, I couldn’t stand the thought of those spices. I’m not pregnant anymore and can’t wait to make this! Going to modify this Pinch of Yum recipe.

Wednesday: Breakfast! Likely eggs and spinach and veggie burgers.

B has a soccer game Wednesday night, so a relatively light and quick meal is appreciated.

Thursday: Either freezer chicken rollatini (from my mom) and pasta OR chicken chorizo sweet potato veggie hash. It will be a game time decision based on how late I have to work and what we’re in the mood for. We may hold off on the freezer meal for next week!

If we do the veggie hash, it will be this recipe but with chicken chorizo on top.

Friday: Takeout! Sushi or buffalo chicken salads likely.


Saturday: Scary movie night with friends – B will make us some homemade pizza.

And thats it! Do you plan your meals ahead of time?

Linking up with Ilka and Angela for the Fitness and Food Linkup.

WIAW: Pumpkinfest!

Cheers to Wednesday! And I’m cheersing you this week with pumpkin beer. Because ’tis the season AND I love a good pumpkin beer. And today’s What I Ate Wednesday appropriately features my pumpkinfest eats!
The day started off with a decaf latte and some cinnamon honey egg white oats. I’m really jamming on the egg white oats lately and they’re easy for me to make in my office. So fluffy and delicious!


And a side of an Asian pear. Aka an apple-pear. I love these!20161013_131642

Lunch was random leftovers. Some leftover soup and some leftover chicken from some lettuce wraps I had made as a crockpot meal earlier in the week. In any case, it was really good.20161013_125318

And for an afternoon snack, I enjoyed some nuts and 2 Boobie Balls (aka energy balls for all you non-breastfeeding folks). 20161012_115035

Then it was time for pumpkinfest! Which basically was a Halloween-type party in my office featuring pumpkin beer and treats. I had some pumpkin candy corn, beer and a cookie.20161012_154141

Dinner was a one pan roasted pesto salmon with some veggies. It hit the spot – I can’t remember the last time I had fish! And it was so easy to make! 

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And I even has leftovers for lunch the next day!

There we go – another What I Ate Wednesday.
Some questions for you:

  • Have you had any pumpkin beers or other pumpkin treats yet?
  • Do you like candy corn?

Disclaimer: Stemilt sent me some complimentary Skylar Rae cherries, and I loved them. All views are my own. 

No, YOU’RE The Best

I really can’t complain about the weekend. We had gorgeous weather and were able to spend time outside. I got in 2 outdoor runs. We had outdoor beers and an outdoor lunch. I was semi-productive. The Indians won. AND I got to celebrate some hard work at the Best of Cleveland event.

Friday night after work, B and I opted to take a walk before dinner and find somewhere to grab a drink.  As we were walking, the little guy fell asleep!

It was a gorgeous night, and tons of people were out for the baseball game.
img_20161014_201642 So we did what any new parents would do- found a patio to enjoy a nice beer and ordered a pizza. Pizza 216 really is my favorite place for thin crust. 20161014_201919 img_20161014_193108

We were able to follow along with the Indians game and were excited when they won!

Sunday morning, Mary was running 16 miles, so B, FW and I decided to join her for the last 3ish. I am really enjoying running with B and sharing the stroller!
That afternoon, we headed to the east side of town to enjoy the changing leaves and 70 degree temps and watch a college football game. But first, we had time for a little walk. Followed by lunch- tater tots and hot dogs! I had an amazing vegan dog with lentil chili, cheese and veggies.



I think FW enjoyed the football game – the weather was perfect!


That night,  B had tickets to the Indians game and while he was there watching them bring home another WIN, I was at the Best of Cleveland event, celebrating the @InTheCLE twitter account. The citizen voice twitter handle that I founded a few years ago  (each week it features a new Clevelander) won Best Social Media so me, Victoria and Laura were there manning the booth and getting new sign-ups.

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The event didn’t end until late, but I headed out a littlr early to get some work done when a client crisis popped up. I was pooped- I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle it all!

Sunday morning included some smiles with this guy…


And also a run with Nicole (like the good old days!), some meal prep, and cooking. 20161016_104107

And because it was sunny and 78 degrees, B and I were able to go for a walk with FW and enjoy lunch outside.



And then a perfect grilled dinner. I love the warmer weather we are having!!


  • Did it feel like summer near you again suddenly?
  • Did you get in any runs or races this weekend? It seemed like everyone I knew had a race!

And because it’s Monday, I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.