Meal Planning Monday-Friday

I have truly been enjoying meal planning lately! Back when I was doing 21 day fix it could at times feel like a chore…but now with a little more freedom with what we can cook with, I have really have been enjoying incorporating it into my Sunday morning routine. I get up with the kids and let Mike sleep in a little longer, play with the kiddos, make their breakfast, coffee for me and Mike and some cinnamon and coconut sugar toast. Then wake Mike up to watch the chickadees while I sip my coffee and peruse cookbooks and pinterest to get ideas for meals for the week.

I try to plan a meal for every weeknight knowing one night it just might not work out due to the time I get home from work, or if I just am not in the mood to make that meal that day. BUT that then also allows potential for a meal to be planned for the weekend as well which never hurts 😉

We also make a big enough portion so Mike, me and the kids can eat it for dinner and for there to be at least two more servings of leftovers for both of us to take to work for lunch the next day. Such a no brainer! Save money from not eating out or at the cafeteria at work and also eating a much healthier yet yummy meal!

So here is what I have planned for this week, thought I’d share since a couple people asked me to pass it along 🙂 Do you meal plan? Where are your favorite places to get inspiration or recipes from?

Happy Monday friends! Hope this helps take one more thing off your list for this week 🙂


Monday: Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls and Mushroom Risotto

Steak roll recipe here:

Mushroom risotto recipe here:

Tuesday: Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram and Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potato recipe here:

Wednesday:  Mini Stuffed Pepper Rings and White Rice

Using this recipe but leaving the creole seasoning out and replacing with Italian seasoning

Thursday: Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Garlic Bread

I might add some chicken because Mike just can’t seem to eat a meal that doesn’t have meat in it lol, the garlic bread I’ll just buy from the freezer aisle at the grocery store

Friday: Make Your Own Pizza Night

For this I buy:

  • 1 tube of refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1 small can contadina pizza sauce (a little goes a long way!)
  • I package shredded mozzarella
  • Whatever toppings you like!

Snippets of January

  1. Mia tells me she will never ever eat Chinese food ever again
  2. Mia ordered her own meal at Red Robin
  3. On a walk in January on a day in the high 40’s Mia and I talked about what snow turns into when it melts, why the grass is yellow in the winter, and discovered pine trees are “tickly”.
  4. Played lots of rhyming games on the way to school as well as “I spy” and “I’m going to the grocery store and I want to get…”
  5. Joaquim tries to jump off couches whenever he is not sneaking upstairs. Will grin or laugh at your face when you tell him no.
  6. Mia and Joa both went to basketball practice with Daddy
  7. Mia saw Moana with Grandma and Grandpa
  8. Mia saw Sing! with Mommy, Vovo and Daddy ( kind of)
  9. Two days in the forties!
  10. Baked a heart shaped cake with pink frosting
  11. Kitchen dance parties to Mommy’s fave Spotify playlists or Pandora Kid Bop station
  12. Snow much fun sledding in the backyard!
  13. Football game watching with Daddy…kind of
  14. Mia started another season of dance class and is loooooving it!
  15. Deciding where to sign Mia up for Kindergarten…
  16. This mama got back to the gym! Hooray!
  17. Joaquim turned two!
  18. Mia got a desk make by her Grandpa complete with a chair that was her Great Great Grandmother’s house that he refurbished just for her.
  19.  Last few family Christmas gathering occurred!
  20. Joaquim started talking more and I started cooking more



Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Time for my fave link up with  Erika, NarciAndrea, Tif, April, and Karli!


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  1. These Nordstrom leggings. Liz from Pure Joy Home posted a picture of these on instagram and I fell in love! AND they were on sale!!! Win. Win. I had been looking for something just like these, they look like a moto jean but feel like a legging. Officially my new favorite thing to wear. Love love love.

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2. Workout classes during lunch at work. The past two weeks I have gone to the gym 4 times a week! I’m actually starting to crave exercise now which is such a new experience for me and I am so grateful for it! I go to Yoga on Mondays, Pilates on Wednesdays, Barre on Thursdays and a Stretch class on Fridays. It has been such a nice break from work and I feel so good after I do it! I already see a difference in my body and energy and hope to continue this routine all winter!


3. Frozen Greek yogurt covered blueberries with granola. This has been a super yummy treat post workouts. It is so easy to make and is a burst of freshness which can be so nice in the winter. Plus blueberries are great for antioxidants and Greek yogurt is a great source of protein!

  • One pint of blueberries
  • Two small containers of Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • One box granola your choice
  1. Take yogurt and pour both containers in a shallow bowl.
  2. Cover the bottom of a flat plate with some granola.
  3. Dip the blueberries into the yogurt and roll in granola.
  4. Set blueberries on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

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4. Nicholas Sparks movies. You guys I am obsessed! I must have watched at least 5 of these since Christmas. Maybe it’s me wanting to escape the cold WI winter and get lost in the Carolinas for a while….maybe it’s that I love sappy movies, maybe its both but I have really been enjoying watching these even if Mike thinks they are silly most of the time. Last night, after the kids were in bed,  he made us some nice steaks and homemade chips and we watched Message in a Bottle. I had never seen that one before!

5. Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers. For some reason I always gravitate twords Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers come Jan/Feb. I’ve noticed this for a couple years now. I don’t know why but I just like to listen to them in the winter I guess? And the kiddos like them too so that’s always a bonus!


Hope y’all are having a great Friday!




Taking Stock January 2017

Cabin fever has officially his Casa Zahner. As the cold, sleet/rain continues here are some thoughts and happenings :
Loving:  Slow January days, family snuggles, my slippers, Spotify playlists, Mia in her ballet outfits, Joaquim’s mischievous smile yet gentle soul. Cozy fires. Quiet moments late at night when everyone else is asleep, the house is clean and all is peaceful.
Feeling: Motivated. I really feel motivated more than I ever have before to tackle my goals this year and it feels so good!
Wishing: that the daylight would last longer in the evenings…. BUT at least we’re past winter solstice!
Needing: to figure out what’s going on with my icloud, more sleep and sunshine.
Remembering: summertime and all the beauty that comes with it. Fresh air, hikes and beach trips with the fam, farmer’s markets, county fairs, barbecues, fresh flowers, our garden…
Hearing: Joaquim speaking more and more each day! It took a little while to get going, but the progress has been amazing! Music wise: Jazz, French Cafe Lounge-esc music, the wild + free 2.0 playlist on spotify have been repeat offenders.
Dreaming: of moving by this fall. We know we want to move, but there’s lots to be done and a house to fall in love with. Excited and nervous for the journey.
Extra thankful for:  my kiddos! They may be a handful but they also know how to love on me hard when I need it, it’s amazing how even at such a young age they can tell when someone is having a tough day and the fact that they notice and think to comfort warms my heart.

Making : Exercise a priority and working out on my lunch break instead of diving into my book like I had been. Also, more homemade meals. With  a goal of eating healthier comes needing to actually cook and I have been enjoying it for the most part!

Cooking : This pork recipe, the Fabulicious cookbook  homemade meatball recipe ( dont knock it till you try it), this smoothie recipe ( with coconut milk), my fave banana bread recipe, and plan on making this and this recipe this month.

Drinking : Decaf coffee. I have been having trouble sleeping lately so I have cut out all caffeine after 2pm and am only drinking decaf coffee when possible. Coconut milk smoothies! Trying to drink more water but failing often.

Reading : Drums of Autumn for me, 5 minute Princess Stories for Mia and ABC books for Joaquim.

Wanting : Warmer weather, a day of sleep, a day in the sunshine with my kiddos and my love.

Playing : Cars and basketball with Joa, barbies and magnatiles and science experiments with Mia.

Enjoying : Crossing things off my to do list, keeping the house in order, Yoga, Pilates, Barre and Stretch classes at the gym and how I feel after taking them.

Wondering : If we will ever figure out how to register Mia for kindergarten.

Hoping : To find some time for Mike and I to take a day off together in the Spring.

Marveling : At the somewhat mild winter we have had so far this year…shhhhh dont jinx it Bruna

Needing : To color my hair and get a trim.

Smelling : The pancakes Mike made for the kids for breakfast, thieves in the diffuser and the peppermint EO I put on the wool dryer balls doing their magic.

Wearing : lots of leggings and boots these days…and cardigan sweaters

Noticing : That day by day it is getting easier to handle both kiddos at home and still get stuff done. I remember days when I literally did nothing but be my babies shadows but as independent play grows and Mia can help out with daily chores ( she often asks to help!) it has become easier to manage the housework, which in turn lets me really focus on being present when I am playing with them instead of thinking about that load of dishes that needs to be done or that pile of laundry that needs to be folded and put away.

Knowing : That things are exactly as they should be.

Thinking : About what to make for dinner tonight

Bookmarking : Essential oil info/recipes, recipes in general, and houses for sale.- this is what I had put last year and its still true this year.

Opening : The Goiabada my mama brought me.

Giggling : At Mia’s boy craziness. She is so cute with it! She has now begun to whisper to me each time she thinks the boy in the drive thru is cute! Ahhh Mike’s in trouble when that girl’s in high school 🙂

I’ll leave you with a sunny view from our honeymoon in Mexico hoping to send some sunny vibes your way!


Little Memories from December 2016

Came across these little moments I had jotted down from happenings in December!

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  • Mike made homemade cinnamon rolls for his coworkers- they were amazing.
  • Mia debates if she does or does not want to go to outer space
  • Mia is obsessed with the Prince of Egypt cartoon movie on Netflix
  • Kitchen Dance Parties- Love on Top, other songs
  • Secret Sister Gift Exchange experience- made me thing-why are we only interested if it’s easy and all about us? Such a sad truth about people as a whole these days, tis the season for giving people!
  • Secret Santa at work: Gift 1: Champagne Toast lotion- so yummy and sparkles yay!
  • Burt’s Bees Kids PJs and my Onesie PJ
  • Bridget’s Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
  • Habitual Winter Season Shopping spree itch- and trying to avoid it- put it into the gifts you are getting others for Christmas- make lists for yourself to tackle in 2017.- I did this! Go me 🙂
  • In search of: a good pair of mittens- Just found them.
  • Joaquim- terrible twos central, tantrum city, habit loving, garage close tradition, trying so hard to use his words, mischievous smile, we are going to have our hands full.
  • Mia-sassy, maturing, still my girlie girl. Loves to draw, play teacher or mom to her babies, practicing writing, can write her own name.
  • Looking forward to Christmas in MN!- So many good memories were made!





Pork Loin With Roasted Carrots And Potatoes


This really isn’t a true recipe as I did not measure a thing and kinda just “eyed” what seemed right for each aka “winged it” ha.

It was a hit with the whole fam so I thought I better jot it down before I forget what I even put in it for when we want to make it again! Super easy and all in one pan, my fave kind of recipe 🙂

Pork loin with roasted carrots and potatoes

  • pork loin
  • 4 carrots
  • 8 small potatoes
  • dijon mustard
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • herbs de Provence
  • olive oil
  • chicken broth

1. Put loin in a gallon ziplock

2. Add olive oil, salt, pepper,chili powder, garlic powder, herbs de Provence and dijon mustard to ziplock and zip closed.

3. Massage the pork in the bag from the outside mixing all the spices, oil and mustard together while coating the pork with the marinade.

4. Put in fridge to marinate for one hour.

5. Preheat now to 425 and peel and chop potatoes and carrots into small pieces.

6. Put potatoes and carrots in baking dish and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

7. Once pork is done marinating, set on top of the bed of carrots and potatoes in the baking dish.

8 . Add a splash of chicken broth to baking dish before putting in oven.

9. Bake for about an hour, checking off and on and adding a little more broth if it’s getting up dry before it’s fully cooked and the potatoes are tender.

10. Remove from oven went inside temp is at 150 degrees and veggies are soft. Let sit for 5-10 mins before serving.





A Lumberjack Breakfast Birthday Party

Last weekend we had a little party to celebrate Joaquim turning two! We did it the weekend before his actual birthday because my parents were heading to Brazil on his actual birthday and won’t be back until end of February. Having a party THAT close to the holidays is pretty intense so I tried my best to simplify while still making our boy feel special.

Last year I had seen my friend Laurie do a similar theme and LOVED the idea. So I kept it in my mind for this year. Then I saw my new blady friend Keila do this adorable breakfast theme bday party and loved that too! So I mashed the two ideas in one and a lumberjack breakfast party theme was born.

I knew in order to keep it relatively cheap and still find decor that worked with the theme I would have to go shopping right after the holidays…like days after Christmas, which I normally avoid as much as possible lol. BUT it was totally worth it! We scored the burlap and buffalo plaid banners in the dollar spot at Target along with the foam Christmas trees. Mike found the adorable log vase fillers on massive clearance there as well which was a total score! Besides that I just kept some of my holiday decor up such as the pine garland I had made to frame our entryway and a few other things.

For food I tried to plan items I could make or prepare the night before. Since it was a brunch party we wouldn’t have as much time the day of to prepare so I tried to keep that in mind. I made this egg bake that was a pretty big hit!  Mike make pancakes and breakfast potatoes the night before that we just needed to warm in the oven the day of. Fresh fruit pre-cut from the store, berries and whipped cream along with the regular syrup for pancake topping options. A little hot cocoa area with marshmallows, candy canes and cinnamon sticks to garnish. Apple and orange juice for the kiddos, bloody mary’s and coffee (obviously) for the adults. My Mother in law brought some amazing bacon that I ate way too much of. My sister- in law Jenny brought the donut cake I ordered and it was so cute and deeeelish! They totally didn’t understand my order and thought it was for a girl lol but luckily Joaquim likes anything his big sister likes and pink is her favorite color, so when I offered him the chocolate frosted donut he kept shaking his head and pointing to the tower and saying ” pink! pink!” 🙂

My inlaws also got the cutest balloon bouquet with a “2” balloon that Joa was instantly obsessed with! He would just run around entangling himself in the balloon ribbons and giggling like mad 🙂

We did get a small cake for him as well since I was informed my my mother and my husband that a donut cake would not suffice and he NEEDED an actual cake lol. Poor guy was so partied out he fell asleep before we could even sing to him! Somehow he woke up though and we all sang and celebrated him ( in English and Portuguese of course) and then he magically got a second wind and did not nap the rest of the day! ha! He seemed to enjoy stabbing the cake with a fork much more than actually eating it, but hey, it’s your birthday and you do what you want to buddy 🙂

Overall it was a nice low key party and I think he had a great time which is the most important thing after all. Here are some pics and a couple videos from the day!

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Family pic!