Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our New Dance Studio!

It's officially happening for real and I really wanted to blog about this for a while now but waited until I actually went to see the new location.

On June 1st, we will officially have our own studio location! We currently have all of our classes held at our local Community Center. It's wonderful having that space, but it wasn't working out so well for our team or ballet classes. The girls need a dance floor, mirrors, barres and space so...I got it for them (and for me too...) ; )

I will have photos soon. The space is currently a preschool. The location is perfect for multiple reasons but one of the coolest is that it basically shares a parking lot with the parking lot of my in-law's condo! We are sub-leasing the space for the next 3 years. After that time is up, we will either stay there (if we continue growing), or I will rent a more affordable space at that time. We will see... :) 

I hope we can stay in this space permanently though. It has an attached outdoor space that is currently the preschools playground area. It's covered with a really pretty gazebo looking thing. It's perfect for so many different things!'s HUGE. We will be having so much fun this summer buying everything for the space. It really hit me today how absolutely exciting this is...a REAL studio! A real studio that I own! Whoa...

On June 1st we will get to hang our sign on the building..."EMERALD CITY DANCE"! 
I'm going to have one of my dance dad's who is a graphic designer create a new logo for us and then we'll send in to have our sign made. We also need to order & hang all the mirrors and barres and decorate! We are going to have a space in there that will be for all of my team kids to come after school and have a study area before their practices. Some have siblings on the younger/older team so they can stay there and the parents won't have to drive. We're bringing our old couch there as well as my desk...I'll have a REAL office now!! EEeeeee!! I just bought a crap ton of new dance clothes because now I have a studio that I can go to to dance anytime I want....I've never been more excited about anything in my whole life. I bought stuff that I don't  usually wear when I teach. New pretty crop tops and sports bras and super ghetto hip hop stuff YAY!! Today we attended the last day of this months dance convention and Matt was watching with me...he looked over and said, "You really should start dressing like a dancer more for the kids and letting them see you dance." Now I have space to do that and feel totally 100% comfortable. 

I'm basically going to live there so hopefully my in-laws won't get sick of me :) 
Today Matt saw it for the first time and said, "I want to go there to study!" So...Cogsy will be loving it there too :) I love this whole thing. This is my favorite scenario..

Our kids will most likely basically live there (bound to happen) so here is what I picture (I know...I'm really weird that I think like this)
Little Lanese: "Mommy, I'm hungry..." (insert: tired, bored, etc.)
Me: "Why don't you go over and see if Nana and Papa are home and have any snacks" :)
Little Lanese walks over to Nana and Papa's house :) 

2nd Scenario
Matt: "When are you going to be done working?"
Me: "I just want to dance for 1 more hour..."
Matt: "Okay, I'm going to go walk over to my parents" cool is that?! 

Ok...time to research mirrors and barres...
Our team begins practicing there mid-June!!!! 
This Fall we will also have our ballet classes there : ) 
I can't wait to have room to dance anytime I want. : )


Friday, April 27, 2012

Freezer Meals v.1 - "What, Why & How"

I am a woman on a mission.
A mission to save time, money, & having to do the dishes.
I'm on a mission to be healthy.
I want to be healthy and I want Matt to be healthy.
One day when we have them, I want our children to eat healthy.
I don't know what has gotten into me or why it's suddenly so important.
It is though, and here I go...a woman on a mission.

I recently joined a Meal Swap Group. I made the same recipe for 7 families (feeding at least 4 in each).
The recipe I made cost just over $70 and because it's just Matt and I, the 7 different meals we were given will last us 14 meals (7 dinners and then 7 lunches for left-overs).

I went grocery shopping at 9pm a few nights ago. I went late with a hoodie and tennis shoes (I hate being cold at the grocery store). I went late because I hate going grocery shopping. I get super annoyed when it's busy. I'd rather go in the quiet and be able to concentrate. I can't go with Matt either. It's something I like to do alone. (I get flustered in busy places..*like Ikea*..too many choices).

 I bought two freezer meal cookbooks at Barnes & Noble (post on them soon).
I am going to be making 18 recipes for this month which will make us 30 dinners and a months worth of breakfasts.

We are also eating way healthier than we usually do because of this! All the recipes in my book are "low-fat" and "light".
In one of the books I bought they have you cook in "mini sessions".
For this month we chose "Pork Chop Mini Session", "Crab Mini Session", "Pasta Mini Session #1".
Because of these mini sessions, I wasn't purchasing such a variety of meats which saved a lot of money.
Choosing a Pasta session for this month is also saving us a lot of money.
The exciting part is we may be eating a whole lot of pork or crab...but the recipes are all so so different!

We will have nights where we aren't home for dinner, go on dates or grill-out because it's getting warm, so a lot of these meals will go into next month.
I'll choose a beef, chicken and pasta sessions next month, so it will eventually become a larger variety.

Is this making any sense?

Here are the recipes I will be making this month -- most can stay frozen for 3-6 months!
I will post all of these as well :)
Pork Chop Mini Session
Dijon Pork Chops
Sweet-n-Sour Pork
Pork-Rice Skillet Bake
Herbed Pork Chops
Provencal Pork
Stuffed Pork Chops 
**made all of these recipes last night in just 3.5 hours (Matt and I cooked together) it was fun!**

Crab Mini Session
Crab Quesadillas
Crab Quiche
Crab-Rice Chowder
Crab Strata
Crab-Stuffed Manicotti

Pasta Mini Session #1
Italian Pasta Bake
Linguine with Vegetables
Three-Cheese Mac-n-Cheese
Italian Garden Pasta

Pumpkin Pancakes **filled a c
Zucchini Muffins
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Burritos

We also have the recipes from my Meal Swap group that will be nice to throw in here and there.

Just because these meals are frozen, it is not eating left overs. If any meats or noodles are cooked prior to freezing, I will cook them until they are just under cooked. That way they can finish during their re-heat and won't taste over-cooked like leftovers.

We'll see how this goes :)
Our freezer is already filling up. It feels great knowing that we have food for the whole month and don't have to worry about it. This is our last summer feeling "tight". I am loving this weight off my shoulders. We always spend way too much on groceries because we are constantly just going to buy dinner the night we need it...that always adds up. This way I know exactly what I've spent.

This month's total (breakfasts & dinners) = $268.00 !!! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seabrook (Last Day)

We stayed in Seabrook for 3 nights.
Here are the rest of the pictures from our trip :)

I made Cinnamon Rolls from scratch that taste exactly like Cinnabon. coming soon.

We hung out by the beach all morning...again :)

Matt wouldn't go up in the loft because he was afraid of the ladder lol, but I hung out up there for a little bit and blogged while Matt did some homework.

Another yummy lunch except this time with a Mudslide :)

After the beach in the morning...then coming home for lunch...we went back to the beach :)

I had my new suit on to go down there...but by the time we got down there the clouds rolled in and I got cold :(

View from the beach :)

*sigh* I want to go back tomorrow...

I had a recipe for a copy cat PF Changs Lettuce Wrap and the recipe was nothing like PF Changs. They were super yummy...just way different than PF Changs. Next time we go I'm going to pay more attention and try it myself.


We found some cute little chairs in the town center that look out over the ocean and watched the sunset after dinner :)

MY 2nd DREAM HOUSE!!! (More realistic)

My hubby is amazing and without me knowing, packed a Funfetti cake mix (our favorite...even had our wedding baker make a copy cat of it for our cake), sprinkles frosting (which he scraped off before giving me my piece because he knows I hate frosting) and 2-4 candles. husband. ever! I knew we bought ice cream but did not know about the cake to mix it with. (I mix mine all up in a weird mush before eating it). He knows me more than I know me.

Once again, Cogsy passed out after our beach filled day. HA. He loves laying in dirty clothes...weird dog lol.

When we were leaving Sunday morning...Cogsy wouldn't leave the porch. He knew we were going home and was not happy about it either :) 

This week Cogsy has been sleeping more than usual. He's still wiped out lol. He is actually currently sleeping basically on of his paws is on my laptop and is kind of bugging me but he's too cute to move. 

Upcoming Posts:
*Freezer Meals -- 1 Day of Cooking, 60 Meals, $200!
*Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Seabrook, WA (Days 1 & 2)

If I could, I would go back to Seabrook again tomorrow. I would be there now...
We had so much fun doing nothing. 
Walks to and on the beach with Cogsy, playing catch with our Nerf football we bought almost 4 years ago to play catch with on Vero Beach in Florida, picnics, yummy new recipes, drinking, playing Jenga, watching movies...all kinds of fun!

Here are some photos from our first two days there :)

Our Beach Cottage, Saltwater Kandi

Cogsy took no time at all making himself at home. This is what he did while we unpacked the car lol.

Mill 109 is a cute little restaurant they have in Seabrook. It's the only restaurant now. They are expanding so Matt and I are excited to see what's new next time we're back.

Bacon Cheeseburgers for my birthday dinner! Mmm!!

Nice way to relax on my birthday :)

Drinks & Jenga...makes it way hard and super funny :)

The next morning we headed to the beach at 8am for a breakfast picnic. It was still pretty chilly from the rain and cold on Thursday. It warmed up by afternoon though :)

"C'mon guys! Stop taking pictures and lets go!"


Exhausted from the beach!

It warmed up, so we went back :) This time we too the trail through the woods by our cottage.

Happiest puppy ever! We bought him that rope at the doggy shop in Seabrook :)

Lunch on our front porch :) (strawberries, toasted ham/roast beef sandwiches, carrots & hummus, peanut butter dip, guac and chips) Mmmm

Pina Colada!

Cogsy sleeping after the beach. He used his new seahorse toy as a pillow lol.

Matt grilled out yummy steaks for dinner and I put goat cheese on mine. Yum!

We drank a bottle of wine and then headed to the beach at sunset :)

I loved this trip so so much.
More to come tomorrow... :)