Weekly Menu for 11.26

Well, I feel like I’m right back in the saddle with my weekly menu post. It’s funny that these are so popular. Percentage wise, I received the most link backs to these posts. I guess we are all curious about what other folks are eating.

Since I know pictures make everything better – here’s our dinner from last night. Truth in advertising, I’m no gourmet. This recipe is Honey Garlic Salmon and available at iFoodReal.

My kids have discovered school lunches and prefer to eat there. I don’t sweat it as they have a fresh food delivery company that caters. They also have a large board above the food line that lists all items and their allergens. Super easy for Little Man to monitor his diet without drawing attention to himself. Middle schoolers hate being even a little different. I believe my high schooler is living off of soda, french fries and green beans. An occasional chicken nugget might make the cut.  I don’t love that but if I’m being honest, I’d rather her eat that than throw away the healthy food I used to pack. Due to their buying lunches, you won’t see any listed here. Mr. Hero and I pack our leftover dinners to cover lunches at work. That about has us covered, so I’ll get on with it.

Sunday – Chicken breasts (probably grilled), potatoes, green beans.

Monday – Build your own salad night

Tuesday – Chicken soft tacos, squash

Wednesday – Chicken Tortilla soup (from the leftover pot of chicken)

Thursday – Spaghetti & Meatballs

Friday – Burgers, sauteed mushrooms and onions, sweet potatoes

I’m traveling for work Wednesday – Friday so Mr. Hero is in charge of all aspects of parenting and survival. I’ll put the soup on Wednesday morning before I head out of town. One of the kids will probably make the Spaghetti & Meatballs – depending upon who gets home from practice first. Friday will be his turn to make dinner happen.

I hope you all have a great week and I’d love links below to your meal plans. I’d love to rebuild my links!


Blogging: Take 2

November 2012 this little blog started as a way for me to escape from grad school and build a little something out for myself. Boy, did I build. I built a career that I absolutely love. Over the last couple of months though, I realized that the building of that career had taken over many aspects of my life. All work and no play makes Jen a dull girl.

23658597_10212634992981493_203493388129485030_nWhile on vacation this past week, I thought about some of my hobbies that have fallen by the wayside. Blogging is one of the hobbies that I miss. So I thought I’d sign up for Blogging U. for a short term challenge. I just want to see whether I really miss it enough to jump back in fully. If nothing else, I hope for 2 weeks of nostalgic waltz through blogging.

So some things have changed. I will spare you the details for now but some additional details might be helpful:

  1. We’ve all gotten a little older and those stinkers won’t tolerate my cutesy food anymore. Muffin tin Monday and other themes are long gone. I know, I’m sad about it too.
  2. Along the lines of getting older, physical fitness has had to become much more of an intentional activity these days. The blog name might be Librarian Eats… but ‘works out’ has to be implied at this age. I’ll probably share a bit more of that.
  3. A little over a year ago, we learned that Little Man is severely lactose intolerant. I still follow that same rule of only cooking one meal for the whole family, so this means we’ve all gone dairy-free. Sometimes Mr. Hero or Pixie will add some cheese to a sandwich or some other dairy as condiment option. But as a whole, we are dairy-free so the recipes here will be as well.

I can promise I’ll be back tomorrow with our weekly meal plan – those remain a mainstay in our household. I’ll also be around at least for the next 14 days as I work through my current Blogging U. challenges.

And finally – if you’ve read this far – I really appreciate your hanging around xoxo



Sleep-over Breakfast on the Quick

Kids had company last night. We’d not planned on it and I’ve not made it to the grocery store. In emergencies, I turn to processed food:


Quick Monkey Bread:

1 tube buttermilk biscuits from Pillsbury
1/2 T butter
Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut biscuits into quarters. Roll in cinnamon sugar individually.

Melt butter in small oven safe skillet. Snuggle little biscuits into small skillet in a single layer. Place in oven until lightly browned. About 12 – 15 minutes depending upon the weight of your skillet. Cast Iron takes longer. Yum!

I have also added chopped pecans to the melted butter & flipped out upside down.


Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

2014 was an amazing year for me and mine. Whether your 2014 was wonderful, dreadful, or somewhere in between – the good news is you have a fresh start! Someone else has a fresh start too –

Meet Barkley –


After losing our beloved lab this past October, we weren’t sure any little furry fella would be able to fill the hole in our hearts. We’d visited a couple of shelters and applied through some rescues, but none of those dogs panned out. And the reason for that was that this little precious baby was waiting for us at a nearby shelter. I’m glad we waited for the perfect fit and now we are able to cruise into 2015 with a little extra love flowing through our house.

Here’s something else exciting going on today:

First Book clubI greatly enjoy reading Sheila over at Book Journey (click the ^ to check her out). She’s hosting some great challenges this year. The First Book of the Year link up is my speed so I’m participating to share what I’m reading and see everyone else’s:
Librarian Eats

I love Jojo Moyes. I’ve read some of her others, and thought I’d take a step back to an earlier work. I’m glad I did. The Peacock Emporium is very good. What are you reading as we flip into 2015?

And finally, in keeping with my fitness theme, I encourage you to seek out some great New Year fitness experiences. Just here around me, I’ve found free 1st day hikes at our State Parks, free Zumba classes, and a group run with a local running group.This sounds like a great way to kick off 2015!!

Faceoff: Jawbone UP24 vs. Weight Watchers

This isn’t really fair because it’s really an apples to oranges comparison. It’s not apples to apples because I’m not comparing Weight Watchers Active Link to Jawbone UP24. I’m comparing Jawbone food tracking component to Weight Watchers app.

For the purposes of full disclosure, I’m a die-hard Weight Watchers Lifetime member. I did this experiment for curiosity sake. I logged in my food intake for one weekend day into both the WW app and the UP24 app. It was a pain in the tuck-us to do both.

What I love about Jawbone UP24 is the nutritional analysis. Here’s the display on the day that I tracked:

IMG_1870I absolutely am smitten with this. I love the focus of the daily tracking on green, yellow, red light foods. Green light foods = go. Eat these. Yellow light foods = proceed with caution. These are the ‘Don’t over due it’ items listed above. For me today, that was hard pretzels, baked potato, rolls. The red light foods = pass on these items. Which obviously, I tanked on today!! I am not a fan of any off limits foods, so I think this approach is realistic. The ongoing monitoring of the nutritional content helps to guide food choices through out the day.

There were some things that I just didn’t love. I found the input screen a bit difficult to navigate at first. It’s best to add a whole meal at a time and make sure there is a bit of time between entries. This is because the display is a clickable timeline of meals. When entries are too close together, they overlap. When I went back to edit an entry, it was too close to another entry, and I was never able to select the one I wanted.  Also, I found that the listing of recognized UPC codes for easy scanning entry is limited. None of the items I scanned today were recognized. And the final item that I didn’t love, was that even of the listed items, some of the nutritional content wasn’t available. I ate a cookie – no biggie, it’s Christmas!! The cookie was listed by brand name. Even though I ate a homemade one, I selected it thinking it would make tracking nutritional content more available. The UP24 app just logged “you ate something good” and omitted calorie, fat, etc. This would seriously hinder calorie counting efforts if that was my purpose.

So to be fair, what do I love about WW app? Well, that’s pretty easy. Perhaps since I’ve been using it for nearly 5 years, it’s super easy to navigate. There’s a huge bank of UPC codes so nearly everything I scan is recognized, except Publix items. This doesn’t bother me, but another lady in my meeting room really loves Publix and she finds this irritating. You might too if you are a loyal Publix shopper. I enjoy the earning of Activity Points to eat 🙂 Finally, I love my WW app because it’s worked so well for me.


After experiencing the UP24, I would like to see more nutritional content feedback. Someone I know, and I’m not naming names, used to eat 9 Hershey kisses for breakfast. As long as they didn’t go over on points, there wasn’t any huge alert that this was a bad idea. Clearly it is a horrible idea. WW does offer Good Health guidelines which are to be checked off to keep you nutritionally on track but this lacks the specific nutritional analysis of UP24.

I also enjoy the ability to enter recipes into the WW site to determine point values of new items. This is easily done in the website instead of the app, but it’s stored and can be logged forever more in the app or on the site.

UP24 does an outstanding job at fitness tracking. WW does an outstanding job at food tracking. Combining the two gives me the best of both worlds. Great news is now they are compatible and Jawbone can feed activity points directly into the WW app!

The deciding factor for me is the 5 years I’ve already invested in WW. Like many who have had success with a particular method, I’m hesitant to try something new in fear of backsliding. I’m pleased with the fitness and sleep tracking of UP24. They make it worth every cent. If I weren’t a WW member and I was looking to trim down, I’d definitely try out the food journal component of Jawbone UP24 as an added step to modifying my lifestyle.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I had to get the fridge cleaned out so I could fit this week’s CSA veggies in there. Luckily, it all came together deliciously!IMG_1864

4 crowns of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 leeks, diced
1 5oz can evaporated milk
6ish oz Velveeta
1 brick cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Better than Bouillon Chicken base
4 – 5 cups water
Dash of pepper

Throw in a crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Enjoy!

Though my UP24 reports some concern over my sodium consumption. Perhaps this didn’t help!! But more on the UP24 nutritional info in another post. Out of curiosity, I logged my food diary into both my Jawbone UP24 and the Weight Watchers app to see what would come of the information. I’ll share that in the next couple of days.

I dropped the hint

and he picked it up!! I’ve mentioned in passing on here and IRL that my hobbies of reading & eating really don’t make for a tiny waist line. I enjoy running. Though with my long commute and the short days of winter, finding the time to run is difficult. But Mr. Hero gifted me with a much desired Jawbone UP24.IMG_1856

I’ve been stalking fitness trackers for months, waffling on which would be best and what my most needed features would be. Following a bunch of research, I decided that the UP24 was my best bet. I liked that it tracks activity, not just steps. It’s compatible with my WW ~ because you know I’m a dedicated WW girl. And it also tracks sleep quality. I didn’t realize that I’d get such detailed reports:


See there where little man woke me up? Glad my kids are a bit older – the orange of wake times in there would have been a heck of a lot more a couple of years ago. I’d love to hook Mr. Hero up to one of his own. He sleeps horribly.

I also didn’t realize that it had such detailed food journal, mood tracking, and coaching. Needless to say, I’m thrilled. I can’t contain myself. So while my blog will continue to focus on books & food, when I actually have time to share, it will now contain a sprinkling of my fitness efforts too. Because life has to be about balance, right?