TheFresh20.com

I really enjoy cooking and (I love having a nice big kitchen in apt. #2!), but I really hate meal planning and often find myself in a rut. Do you ever feel like that?

I know there are a lot out there, but I recently discovered an online meal planning service that we’ve been using for about a month now and I’m loving it. It’s called TheFresh20.com and it’s $15/3 months of weekly meal plans and corresponding shopping lists. They’re designed with busy (lazy?) families in mind and they provide you the means to prep 5 dinners for $80 or less with fresh ingredients, limited sugar and little to no preservatives. (if you’re good about coupon-ing, etc. for pantry staples or have a garden I can imagine it’s often much less!).

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A few pros we’ve enjoyed so far:

  • the corresponding shopping lists, you literally can just print them and take them to the store
  • the ease at which meals are actually created. If you follow their prep steps you can prepare the meat and veggies in advance (Sunday afternoon or whenever) and then your prep is minimal in the evenings to actually cook dinner
  • the leftover mentality. Again, on the ease theme, it doesn’t happen every week, but twice now we’ve had meal plans that make a new meal with leftovers from the previous night (ex. a pasta became a soup by adding stock and beans or a chicken dish became a pasta by just adding veggies and pasta). I love this because its adds variety and saves time!
  • the meals are designed for a family of 4 so we either get leftovers or I just make less and then actually spend less making my wallet happy!

Of course, if you’re a picky eater (which we kind of are) some of the meals just don’t sound good so I still make a few tried and true Vlk family favorites to augment the plan when I don’t think we’d enjoy something but so far it’s worked like a charm and has added variety and simplicity to our life.

*Not an official endorsement* But certainly worth your time to check out, I think you can even try it free for a week!

 

first birthday celebration in W-burg

Last Friday was Alex’s birthday.

Birthdays are kind of a big deal to me and since it’s the first birthday since we’ve been married that he’s been working, I tried to make it extra special. (Because working on your birthday isn’t really all that fun). I  brought him lunch at school Chic-Fil-A, cupcakes, and a little Lego set. The fries were definitely cold by the time I arrived (#ferryfail) but he was surprised…

…which is good because I was unsuccessful in pulling off the real surprise of the day – dinner with friends at a new restaurant (to us). I cracked and told him earlier in the week that it wouldn’t just be the two of us at dinner when he asked. (I have a bad poker face.) The restaurant was called Second Street and it was really good! Probably our new second favorite restaurant in Williamsburg – Food for Thought still holding out as #1.

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So thankful for these friends, even though we’ve only known most of them two or so months, they’re a great blessing and a welcome addition to life in Williamsburg. After dinner it was back to our place for a video game tournament (for the guys) and more cupcakes. Getting older isn’t always so bad!

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Book Recommendation

This book is outstanding. Seriously, one the best purchases I have ever made. I got the recommendation from a friend, and now need to pass it on. It’s an old book, Burroughs lived 1599-1646 and at least in my copy the text is really small but I have only read just a few pages and I already feel God challenging me, convicting me, and encouraging me. If you (or someone you know) struggle with contentedness, coveting, pride, etc. this is MUST read.

Here’s the Amazon link if you want to look into it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1878442287/ref=dp_proddesc_1?ie=UTF8&n=283155

I Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

pintrest.com/lauravlk

for years, I have been clipping magazines, making binders of house ideas and wedding ideas (before I became proficient and addicted to the internet) and then later electronic folders and bookmarks to save the countless things that caught my eye and I wanted to be able to find again.

enter…pintrest.com

I love this website – it’s going to allow me to do it all in one place, keep sources straight and see things in collage fashion (can’t wait for that!).

so follow me if you’d like http://pinterest.com/lauravlk/ and happy pinning!

-Laura

Things I love – Weddings

Weddings are truly one of my most favorite things. I’ve always secretly (and not so secretly at times) wanted to be a wedding planner. I’ve watched The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez more times than I can count and even though I’ve been married for almost two years, I still look at wedding magazines and websites at least a few times a month.

This weekend Alex graciously tagged along (and drove me most of the way!) to Cleveland, Ohio were we spent Saturday at the wedding of one of my college roommates. She was lovely, the details were lovely, and the wedding was fantastic. Weddings are such an amazing place for creativity and she definitely displayed hers. She used one of my current favorite color schemes – wine, cream, and light green and she carried a heart theme and poem by e.e. Cummings all the way through, which was so unique! And she did something I had never seen before – she handmade advice books for every table that the guests could write in during the reception. Our table had a blast with it!

Overall a wonderful, memorable weekend with great friends, a beautiful bride, and my fabulous husband.

I am so blessed!
Laura

Summer Mornings at 307 Duke

I love sunshine. It does something to me. It makes me feel alive and happy. I think it’s because its about as close as I can get to understanding what it will be like to be in God’s presence. Unescapable light – pure and beautiful – illuminating the world and bringing joy to my soul. Praise the Lord! We get a lot of sunshine in Virginia.

I cherish mornings like this one that I am experiencing right now. My thermometer reads a cool 63 degrees and there is a light breeze coming through my window. The sun is gloriously bright, filling the whole sky, and birds are singing. It’s days like this that I think I could live in  this apartment for the rest of my life…

because I get to look out the window at this while I drink my coffee.

“[To him] who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. ” 1 Timothy 6:16

Things we LOVE – Gino’s East Chicago Pizza

This is real pizza. At least where we come from, yes that’s deep dish and the sauce is on top. We often find ourselves craving it and yesterday when we saw it in our grocery store freezer case, it was a must buy. It won’t be as good as getting it fresh from Gino’s itself, but we’ll enjoy it because this as close as we’ll get East Coast some 700 miles from it’s birth place. Viva Chicago and your fantastic food! Bring on the fork and knife!

-Laura