Monday, March 24, 2014

Almost finished with Maple Street Tea Shoppe?

I bought the pattern from Laura Dennison Designs.  Had a blast creating.  This is the sample that I will keep - a shop called Oddities.  The front window showcases quite a few fun little things I found from my stash.

No, nothing was purchased for this (other than pattern), this was a 'let's see what can be done with stash only' type project.  Love the little windows and fact it holds a 6x6-8x8 mini.  Planning to create one with a tea shoppe theme once I find the right little tea set or old tiny dishes as a gift.  I have the paper I think I want to use - now to play around since I have a feel for what I am doing more now.  Another difference - no flower pot outside - thinking a sandwich board sign and maybe some old skates or baskets.  I will know what I want when I see it.

Lots of mistakes through out this project, I made lots of notes as I think I approach and work on projects a bit differently than the designer.  Not a big deal - I usually end up heading out on my own after learning a technique.  I like how my little awning things came out - think I want to find some copper paper (metallic) and use that for my next one.  Give it a bit different look.

The designer or this project has wonderful ideas and the way she sees things is so much fun.  I can't wait to try my next one.  I have a goal for 12 different little shops on a particular shelf for me. 

The pink 'construction strips' you see were on purpose - I tend to use bright colors when creating something for the first time.  I always make a sample, then proceed to the real deal.  I was given a large stack of neon card stock once - I used it quite often to make my sample pages or try out new folds and such.  It means my samples are pretty colorful.  This is the first time in quite a while I made such a 'calm' looking sample.

A few designs I want to try/work on (one a month is about all I can hope for right now).  Not quite main street, more like where I live.  The first building reminds me of a local antique shop in town.  They look different, but the window reminds me of the variety in their store.

Barn - the basic tea shoppe above, but wider, different doors and such.  Maybe even a tractor or hay bales in the top section.

Town Hall - I would like something a bit more interesting than my current plain album.

Fire department, house, church, grocery store, and more :).  Now to see if I can get them created.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Menu for the next two weeks

Taking the easy route for shopping this week - just doubling the menu.  I will add some extras - cookies and such based on time, but the basics are complete!

Tonight - Pizza and Salad - pop to drink (yes, we do give kids regular pop once a week.  Never diet or the monster stuff.  Usually it is rootbeer, coke, pepsi, dr. pepper or sprite.  At our house, Fridays are pizza and movie night around here.  Living with meniere's doesn't mean that changes - just made some food adjustment.   We have been making Friday night pizza's for quite some time so it hasn't been that big of an adjustment).


B:  Low sodium bacon waffles, fresh fruit (toast, peanut butter, orange juice, milk, water, coffee available for anyone who can have them)
L: leftovers from the week
D: Chicken and carrots in the crock pot, sauteed cabbage, mashed potatoes, fruit dessert

B: oatmeal
L: unsure right now - probably fajita's if plans change
D: Peppered meatball sandwiches (sort of philly cheesesteak taste), oven potatoes and lettuce salad

B: oatmeal
L: leftovers
D: Tacos, rice & salsa, fruit kabobs

B: eggs and toast
L: leftovers or 'dead animals' (aka bread dough rolled around leftovers and cooked in oven until bits and pieces spew out a little)
D: Crockpot chili, jello and corn muffins

B: pancakes and bacon
L: leftovers or chili dogs
D: Chicken casserole

B: oatmeal
L: Leftovers
D:: meatloaf, cheesy potatoes, green beans and fruit kabobs

B: oatmeal
L: leftovers
D: Pizza

Repeat - short/sweet/easy.  The crockpot chili may become crockpot lasanga next week and the chicken casserole probably chicken pot pie instead.  The ingredients are all on hand (I keep lasanga noodles at all times  and a pie crust is pretty easy to make).  The peppered meatballs may become meatball marinara, but either way - everything will be on hand if I make some changes.  Still low sodium.

Grocery run after the first week for more fresh milk and produce, otherwise, shouldn't need any other runs

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Meneire's plan for the week

The biggest key we have found is planning our menus.  As my husband is required to eat at restaurants for his job, our planning is key to helping him be successful.  His standard order - a steak cooked plain, a plain side salad (no croutons), steamed veggies (again - be sure they are plain) and rice-pilaf (after checking prep) or a baked potato with sour cream and pepper only.  Asking how everything is prepared is most important.

We raise our own beef, lamb and chicken, so we tend to rely on these meats.  Out of venison this time of year (pheasant too - I think we have a meal or two worth of duck and fish left in the freezer).  Here is the menu for my husband's week (nights he eats out are usually take out for the kids or a higher sodium meal that the kids like - last week it was Papa Murphy's 5 meat stuffed pizza (1/12th slice has 1260 mg sodium), this week it is either frozen pizza one night and other tacos with the full salt refried beans and store bought shells - we are getting them used up).

He is at 1200 mg per sodium per day as a goal.  If we eat all home-cooked meals - it is pretty easy to stay in the 600 mg per day range - very little thought these days.  

This week (snacks are usually some oatmeal cookies I have made 5 mg sodium each or a fiber bar and fruit and/or homemade bread):

Breakfast - oatmeal with raisins, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and 2 tbsp cream.  Ran out of walnuts, so no walnuts this morning.

Lunch - meatball marinara subs with fresh fruit and brussel sprouts.  I love that Aldi's fit and active is only 25mg sodium per serving.  This greatly speeds up the cooking process - yes, we do purchase it by the case.  Having it on hand means I can come up with a 25 mg dinner if needed (pasta plus 1/2 cup sauce).  One jar and 24 meatballs serves 6-8 people.

Snack - homemade bread (I bake every day - just like most others) or a fiber bar (store bought 85 mg per bar) and maybe an ounce of low sodium cheese.  Sometimes nuts, sometimes peanut butter and no salt crackers or veggies, it depends on the day.  My goal is two snacks per day, though he usually combines all into a single snack. 

Dinner - Roasted leg of lamb with onions, carrots and potatoes, biscuits and a berry cobbler for dessert.

Breakfast - oatmeal (pretty standard breakfast around here)

Lunch - leftover roast beef, carrots and garlic potatoes from Saturday night

Dinner - kids choice as husband eats out tonight

Breakfast - oatmeal
Lunch - leftover spaghetti and garlic bread
Dinner - kids choice

Breakfast - eggs/toast/fresh fruit and 1-2 slices of low sodium bacon.  Bacon is something that after a month, my husband really still misses.  We only had it on occasion, so we are trying out the Great Value brand of lower sodium bacon (173 mg for two slices).  We used to just split a serving between the two of us, but will see if he wants both.  :).  Consumer Reports had this listed as one of the better tasting lower sodium bacons.  Compared to the other brand of low sodium they offered, this one is over 100 mg lower in sodium per serving size.  Here is hoping it is good.
Lunch - leftover meatball marinara subs
Dinner - Beef barley stew (beef from leftovers from roast cooked on Saturday)  The bone will be used to make beef broth.

Breakfast - oatmeal
Lunch - leftover beef barley stew
Dinner - Lamb pot pie with jello (leftovers from Sunday dinner)

Breakfast - oatmeal
lunch - leftover lamb pot pie
Dinner - pizza with homemade sausage, low sodium cheddar and a serving of lower sodium bacon if it is good on Wednesday with the grease used in the crust for more flavor.  If it turns out that it doesn't taste good, we have outdoor animals whose coats will benefit from the fat content.  Though nice here - we still have several feet of snow on the ground and drifts over 10 feet tall.

Breakfast - pancakes, fruit
Lunch - hambergers, baked beans (from scratch), fresh carrots with mustard dipping sauce
Dinner - Crock pot chicken, oven potatoes, sauteed cabbage/veggie mix, brownies, biscuts

I also keep oatmeal raisin cookies on hand - 5 mg per cookie (approximately - as anyone with Meneire's knows - every flour is different  - but I do really like the no salt baking powder).  Two other items that tend to fit without much issue - some vanilla ice cream or sherbert.  We don't forgo treats in order to eat right.  Just revamp where needed so they fit into a low salt/no added salt plan of eating.