Meal Planning Reality Check

I feel like I go to the grocery store all the time. Seriously.

Lately, every two days or so I end up needing a main ingredient to make for supper – at 5:30pm. This is pretty equal parts due to getting settled in a new living area, and lack of planning..
With classes starting up in a week and a half (eek! *heart palpitations*), I’m going to end up having even less preparation and organization time.
So something’s gotta give.
The solution is that i’ll be hopping on the meal-planning-bandwagon.

There are all sorts of benefits that come from meal planning – budgeting being an obvious one, but also only buying groceries once or twice a month, eating more healthily, and mostly, just having an easy, already thought out meal that’s ready to be tossed together in my kitchen.
So much easier than going to the grocery store at 6:00pm and eating at 8:00pm – and better for you, too!

I just downloaded the Paprika App for Mac, and although I haven’t added in any info other than having a bag of potatoes in my pantry, it looks AMAZING already.Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 1.03.53 AM

I’m so excited to use it tomorrow! (It might be 1:00am as I type this, currently. whoops…. time management out the window with the night owl.) One of the reasons this app is so popular is because of its simplicity and effectiveness. I can add and save recipes that I either type out myself or that are pulled onto the app directly from the web, then add them to certain days of the month for particular meals (I will probably plan the whole rest of the month), and then the app generates a grocery list for me! Pure. Genius.

I think that the key for our utilization with us being a family of two, is going to be understanding where in our plan that we will eat leftovers, and ensuring that the recipes I choose aren’t too savory and amazing- resulting in a very expensive grocery store trip. You can’t eat a roast three times a week, you know? You have to throw in some lighter meals with less expensive cuts of meat.

I also think that this app may be a way for us (me) to experiment with a lot of recipes that I wouldn’t normally try. Yay for variety!

You’ll definitely be hearing how it goes in the near future!
Do you meal plan? How do you do it?!

 

P.s. Did you notice that I changed my blog logo from my (beloved) giraffe picture with the overlay of the flags, to just the flags?! I love it so much! I also added in an aqua vector pattern background. :) Oh, so much happiness!

Blogging Tips and Tricks

Hello, there! Are you a blogger, or new to having a blog?
Whether it’s your New years’ resolution, you’re coming back to a dormant page, or you’re an avid post-maker, here are some tips for all bloggers alike. :)

Now, I don’t have the most ‘successful’ site, in the eyes of others – I don’t have sponsors, or over 1,000 followers, but I have posted 46 heart-felt posts and interacted with some pretty awesome people across the globe because of it since September 2014. Throughout the short lifetime of my blog, I can reflect on some learned tips that could be of use to others.

  • Firstly –Choose your blog name very wisely! – You can’t change this– so even though I am the ‘Texan in South Africa’ that is now back in Texas, that will go back every year for an undisclosed amount of time back to South Africa…. I really think that in hindsight, even though it seemed such a perfect name at the time, I could have picked a less concrete name to have gone with. If you know of a way to change your blog name on your blog- please do tell! I have done a bit of research and it seems the only way is to potentially upgrade to the paid platform or create a whole new blog- which is not an option for me- too many dear posts to lose!
  • Write down a blog schedule – Topics should be those that will inspire you and be easy to manage. Drafting a schedule makes goals- so start with just two posts a week on specific days – do that for a month and then increase to three. And you don’t have to sit down on the Tuesday you want to post- you can do them both on the same Sunday evening and schedule them to post on the days you want!
  • Interact with other blogs! <– This is a biggie! The only way you are Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 12.05.48 PMgoing to increase your blogging confidence (therefore blogging more and completing your posting goals) is by getting a tad bit of traffic and feedback (comments) on your blog! And the only way that is going to happen is to go visit other blogs on your reader – follow a topic, (preferably one that is similar to your blog) pick one (I always pick blogs to read that don’t have thousands of followers- helping the other little guys out!), read it a bit, and then click that follow button – they will be sure to check yours out and then reciprocate that follow to yours! And don’t forget to join in on the conversation and COMMENT on a post! As a blogger speaking to a fellow blogger- comments are the hugs of the blogosphere, are they not?! They are the warm little notifications that someone has read your post you potentially spent hours on, enjoyed it, and taken the time to give you their thoughts back! Which brings me to our next bullet…  Continue reading “Blogging Tips and Tricks”

Happy 1st Day of 2016!

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Except for the fact that it is today instead of tomorrow, and it’s a leap year this year, Brad. ;) so 366 pages.

Oh, happy day! A whole year has come and gone, and a new one has taken its place. People all over the world for the next couple of weeks will be using that eraser to scratch out the ‘5’ and replace it with a ‘6’ for 2016 – I know I will be! I have to remind myself for weeks on end that it’s a new year- almost until the point that it’s the end of that year with a new one on the way again!

Did you notice on the home page? I changed the year on the copyright! It looks like i’m entering my third calendar year of blogging! Whoop whoop! I can’t wait for all that 2016 will bring- good and exciting things indeed- and I wish the same for you, too!

 

As far as resolutions are concerned, I can’t remember the last time that I sat down and wrote some out on a January 1st, so why not now? I am sitting, after all…

Victoria’s 2016 Resolutions/Goals:
Be more patient.
Be more kind.
Be less critical of myself and others.
Develop better time management. (Although i’m sure this will come on its own as soon as this school semester starts- yep, you read that right- school semester- stay tuned for that update..)
Bring pilates back into my life as a daily routine. – this will require the purchasing of some mat equipment.
Start running. (cliché, yes, I know… i’m sure that of all of the lists written across the globe today, this is probably the most common one, but it’s always a good one!)
-Hunt more. (duh)
-Join a Texas IDPA group
-Get my concealed handgun license.
-Curse less. (it’s a problem, i’ll admit)
-Take. More. Pictures!!
-Become a more confidant swimmer.
-Take a beach vacation.
-Read more (going back to time management…)
-Wake up earlier
-Stop settling for throwing my hair in a bun- appearances matter!
-Eat out less.
-Plan our meals- and buy accordingly.
-Create a financial budget.
-Get more crafty.
and last but not least,
-Blog more!

What are your New Years’ resolutions or goals? Do we have any that are the same?

Until next time!
I hope you had a most blessed and wonderfully refreshing January 1st, 2016!

P.s
As previously mentioned (again), I have been absent as of late due to the crazy busyness of life. A couple of things that I (we) have done in the last couple of weeks, includes remodeling a small house, surviving family encounters throughout the holiday season, and going hunting (although unsuccessfully) a couple of times. It even snowed while we were in the blind- in Del Rio of all places!

The air was so pretty filled with all of the dainty dancing white specks, and the Whitetail Deer looked to be having some fun with it, too.

 

My Hunting Dream List

One of the things that comes with being a part of the global hunting community, is a vast knowledge of species around the globe, and therefore a big hunting ‘bucket list’.
(much to my husbands’ wallets’ dismay..) ;)

So, without further ado, here is a simple, yet comprehensive, list of the species I would like to hunt during my lifetime.
More than likely, I will only ever be able to hunt about 10% of this list- but i’ll be more than happy with whatever I am ever able to have the opportunity to take.
The asterisk (*) means it is a priority species for me. Continue reading “My Hunting Dream List”