Welcome to my weekly meal plan, where I’m sharing 21 Day Fix approved meals that are quick, easy, and perfect for picky eaters!

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Happy Saturday!

As you might remember from last week, I’m still doing the 21 Day Fix diet, so this week’s meals are 21 Day Fix friendly, but also kid friendly and great for picky eaters! So even if you aren’t on a restrictive diet, you should be able to enjoy these. But if these meals don’t float your boat, be sure to check out previous week’s meal plans. Lots of great meals to choose from there!

As always, I’ve included a free printable grocery list that has everything you need filled out for you. Just print and head to the store!!

SteakTacos Monday: Steak Tacos with Avocado Salsa

How fresh and yummy do these look? I’ll serve with brown rice.

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Tuesday: Italian Pork Tenderloin with Potatoes in Crockpot

Simple and family friendly! I’ll serve this with a large side salad.

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Wednesday: Southwest Chicken and Vegetable Brown Rice Bowls

Everyone can adapt their own meal to suit their tastes!! Toddler friendly, too!

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Thursday: Hamburger Steaks AND Baked Sweet Potato Fries

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I’ll have my hamburger steak without gravy.

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Friday: Open Faced Grilled Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches

These look amazing!

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Have a great week!

I’m recapping week 8 of The Bachelor. Who got the coveted red roses this week?

The Bachelor

Happy Friday! This week’s episode should have been titled: The Worst Fantasy Suite Show of All Time. Even Worse Than Juan Pablo.

The problem with the episode was that it was just strange. And awkward. And boring. And strange. All rolled into one.

Let’s get started!

The episode opened up in Bali. I just knew Farmer Chris was going to go low key and do the Fantasy Suite dates in Toledo, Ohio or something, but I guess he finally decided to take advantage of the ABC budget. You’d think with all the money he’s saved them this season (not even a single elephant ride!), they’d be operating on surplus, but apparently not. Because the beginning of the show is Chris basically giving a commercial for the resort he’s staying at.

He wastes no time bringing up the Fantasy Suite dates coming up and how he needs to “raise the levels of intimacy” with the women. Welp, this is obviously Becca’s time to shine.

First up is a date with Caitlyn. Chris tells us that she’s the type of person he could see in his life. It’s worth noting that he does NOT say he could see her as his wife. In his life just seems very…vague? I’m guessing that he means he can see himself watching her on TV as the next Bachelorette.

You know it’s happening.

They go visit a temple, which is awkward because half of her butt is hanging out of her shorts. As far in advance as these dates are planned out, you’d think the producers would give her a heads up. Something like, “hey, it’s temple day. Maybe cover your butt, okay?” It’s not that hard, people.

Chris and Caitlyn practice walking with baskets on their heads, then take a walk through the village. They go feed a bunch of monkeys that basically attack them and pee on Chris. Chris not only has been peed on, but has massive circles of sweat in the armpit area of his shirt. Caitlyn’s hair looks like it has been drenched by humidity…Bali is not doing the two of them ANY favors. Good job, Chris. You finally choose an exotic location and you get Sweatandpeeville.

They go to dinner later that night and talk about Kaitlyn having a guard up. This is a bad sign. It seems like it’s Bachelor 101 to break down the most closed off girl, then throw her to the wolves with her open wounds. Sorry, Caitlyn but the writing is on the wall.

Chris gives her the card to the fantasy suite, and she immediately accepts. They head to the suite that is complete with a bath filled with rose petals (do they even use it? If not, what a waste) and Kaitlyn tells Chris that she is falling in love with him. Chris responds that he is “falling in love with you as well”.

WAIT. WHAT.

Is that a thing? Does the Bachelor say that? It is at this point that I look over at my husband who is pretending to be on his phone and not watching and ask, “DOES THE BACHELOR DO THAT?” and he responds, “Nope, not a thing”.

Is she going to make it to the end after all? I’m so confused.

The date ends with them kissing on a bed. We can only imagine what that means.

And by imagine, I mean please don’t. Let’s be respectable adults, here.

Next up is Whitney’s date. They’ll be spending the day on a yacht. Is it just me, or does he always give her the better dates? Caitlyn gets attacked by monkeys, Whitney sips champagne on a yacht. I think Chris might be on to Whitney’s secret crazy (we’ve all seen it lurking under the surface) and knows if he comes at her with monkeys and armpit sweat, her Kentucky will most definitely come out.

They drink champagne, they kiss….Whitney talks nonstop. Does she ever stop talking? They finally decide to jump in the ocean which I think is a horrible idea since they’ve both been drinking. But what do I know. My dates consist of Chili’s queso and margaritas.

Later that evening they go to dinner. Chris has questions to ask Whitney about whether or not she’s really ready to give up her career and move to Arlington. You know…in case anyone forgot that he lives in a small town.

He lives in a small town, people. Also he’s a farmer. In case you needed a reminder.

Chris breaks it to her just how small his town is. He tells her that there is nothing to do and the closest towns for her to work doing what she does is about 3 hours away. Well Chris, your title of Official Ambassador of Arlington is being revoked as soon as this wraps, you better believe that. Whitney tells Chris that she wants mostly to be a wife and mom and her career would be something for her to fall back on. Chris then tells us he’s falling in love with Whitney and can see himself proposing to her at the end.

Okay, so wait. He’s falling in love with her, too? Is this a thing? Is he setting this up to make them be Sister Wives? The Bachelor Sister Wives is definitely something I would watch.

Chris gives her the Fantasy Suite card. She pretends to think about it and then says yes, then they head to the Fantasy Suite so they can “take things to the next level”.

That phrase just feels so gross to me. She’s not a video game, Chris. Just saying.

Finally it’s Becca’s turn for a date. I know you’ve probably forgotten, but she’s a virgin. Not to be confused with Ashley I. who was also a virgin, although no one ever really talked about it. It’s like this whole virgin thing isn’t even making it into the plot!

It’s obvious that Chris wasted his one good date on Whitney, because he and Becca just walk around Bali and go to the same temple again. The medium of the village is there, and he tells them that they need to make love, which I am 1000% most definitely sure was NOT set up by the production team. Of course not.

They go to dinner, and Becca is secretly a nervous wreck about the Fantasy Suite Card coming. Chris still doesn’t know she is a virgin, Becca is going to have to spring it on him tonight. They talk about how cautious Becca has been in relationships. Chris asks her about making the move to Arlington and she says she’d have to know she was really sure about him and their relationship first, which I think is reasonable.

Becca tells Chris that she thinks she’s falling in love with him. He responds he’s falling in love with her.

OMG YES IT IS BACHELOR SISTER WIVES. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

Chris gives her the fantasy suite card. Now things are going to get interesting. Finally! After a brief hesitation, Becca tells him she would love to have more time alone with him. I’m silently praying that Chris doesn’t say, “Next level”. Not here, not now, Chris. Wrong girl.

I’m actually fairly disappointed when Becca starts playing coy to the camera, leading us to believe that she might be losing her virginity tonight. Really, Becca? Not worth it, girl. Trust me on this one. Whitney will never let you live.

Becca and Chris head to the Fantasy Suite, and she finally sits him down and tells him that she’s a virgin. Chris’ reaction is PRICELESS. Like for real, he needs to take a class titled, “How to React to Awkward News” because he is BAD. He face is twitching all over the place. He looks partly miserable, partly humored, and partly like he wants to go die somewhere. All of his personalities have showed up, and they are having a party on his face. Poor Becca. You need to run now. Because we ALL know that Whitney will be the main sister wife, and you’ll be the one living in the tiny house alone.

The next morning, things with Chris and Becca seem to have taken a turn for the worse. Chris says they had a serious conversation this morning that left him confused about where she stands. He tells us that Becca is the only one who has reservations about moving to Iowa. He then says that he wishes all 3 girls could meet his family and starts crying. He’s clearly terrified and in over his head.

I don’t know which girl is sitting next to him watching this right now, but she can’t be happy knowing that she barely squeaked by.

Chris Harrison comes in and they talk about Chris’ confusion and difficulty making a decision. It’s pretty obvious that he’s set on Whitney, but he’s torn between Becca and Caitlyn. They discuss Becca’s overnight date and Chris S says that the date showed him that she’s a “passionate” person.

Ummmm…okay then. So she’ll be the hot sister wife that he stays the night with all the time and makes the other women resentful. I’ve seen Big Love, I know how this works.

Finally it’s time for the Rose Ceremony and good thing, because Chris says he THINKS he knows what he’s going to do. Well then.

Chris is a bundle of nerves as he walks into hand out roses, and Becca is nervous wreck, knowing that their last conversation did not go well.

Chris suddenly asks to see Becca alone. As the two of them walk off, Caitlyn and Whitney exchange looks of glee. LOOKS OF GLEE, PEOPLE. They are practically breaking out in dance.

Chris and Becca go sit down and she spills her guts to him – she’s crazy about him and is falling in love with him and doesn’t want to leave. I keep waiting for him to tell her it’s too late, that they aren’t “as far along as the other relationships” but that never happens. Is she going to stay? Is that even possible?

Back at the Rose Ceremony,  Caitlyn and Whitney are kickin’ it like they own the joint. Apparently Becca had told them prior to the ceremony that she thought she was going home…so they know they’ve got this in the bag.

Until.

Chris comes back with Becca. HOLD THE PHONE HE COMES BACK WITH BECCA. At this moment, I’m pretty sure that Whitney and Kaitlyn pooped themselves. It would be the only fitting way to end this whole Bali fiasco, wouldn’t it?

Roses go to:

Whitney

Becca

 

Caitlyn goes home. As Caitlyn walks off in shock, Whitney is smiling the whole time. I’m telling you, that girl is EVIL.

Chris walks Kaitlyn outside, and she’s obviously stunned. She asks what happened, but he literally has no explanation for her. He fumbles around, telling her he doesn’t even know if it’s the right decision. This is a disaster, people. A DISASTER. I’m nostalgic for Juan Pablo at this point. Sure, he was a jerk. But when it was over, it was over.

Right before she gets in the car Caitlyn starts sobbing. I feel for her, but I have no doubt she’s a frontrunner for Bachelorette. Caitlyn — you dodged a bullet. Sisterwifin’ it up isn’t the life for you.

 

Next week is Women Tell All.  Hopefully Britt showered first.

I’ll be watching!

Chocolate cherry bundt cake that’s marbled to perfection. This pound cake is perfect for potlucks and Friday night dessert alike!

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I’ve always been a huge fan of pound cake. Honestly – any cake you can eat with your hands and is acceptable for breakfast is good in my book. I know it kind of has a reputation as being the grandma of cakes, but I don’t think that’s fair.

Pound cake is super versatile, always up for anything. Top it with chocolate glaze and caramel? Perfection! Whipped cream and fruit? Grand idea. Served with a side of ice cream? I thought you’d never ask! Pound cake is like that friend who is always ready and down for anything, no questions asked.

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Pound cake also slices like a dream, always looking gorgeous while other cakes sloppily crumble. I love how they are naturally pretty, taking on the shape of whatever you bake them. Pound cakes don’t need a ton of frosting and swirls to make them look pretty – they’re that girl with perfect skin who you kind of hate but she’s so nice that you can’t justify it.

So who’s the grandma cake NOW?? (I’m lookin’ at you, fruitcake)

Personally, I enjoy a slice or four of pound cake for breakfast. It’s less sweet than many coffee cakes, and is dense and sturdy, making it perfect for dipping, if you’re a coffee kind of person. I’m really not, but I never turned down a Caramel Frappe, if you know what I mean.

This gorgeous cherry flavored Bundt is full of yummy flavor. The lightly pink batter is flavored with maraschino cherry juice AND a generous helping of chopped maraschino cherries. Swirl a bit of melted chocolate in the batter and you’ve got one sexy beast of a pound cake, if you don’t mind me saying.

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I chose to serve this cake with whipped cream on the side, but I think it would be fabulous with a chocolate glaze, frosting, or even a scoop of ice cream and chocolate syrup. It’s not too sweet, so you really can’t go wrong whatever you do.

Unless you don’t make it altogether. That would be totally, totally wrong.

You can also find this Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake recipe on Food Fanatic, where I am a regular contributor. Be sure to poke around over there — there are a ton of great recipes to choose from!

Enjoy and have a great day!

I’m sharing an update on the kiddos today!

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I haven’t done an update on the kiddos in infinity, so I thought it was about time.

No recipe today, friends! The only thing we’re baking up here are chubby toddler toes.

Wait. You know what I meant.

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Lucy Goose has gotten SO BIG!!

It seems like every day, there is something new I am amazed at. New words, new letter or color recognition, or new little jokes. All those tiny things feel so miraculous!

We have our hard days for sure. And we don’t leave the house a whole lot — it’s flu season and to top it off, grocery shopping and restaurants aren’t Lucy’s strong point. But I know this will pass too quickly, so I try to roll with it. I occasionally plan an evening out with girlfriends while my husband stays home with the kiddos, and that helps! Also, wine. My sanity is fueled by cheap white.

Lucy is great at napping now. After two years of never sleeping, I am praising sweet baby Jesus. She goes to bed and naps without a fuss and a smile on her face. Sometimes she wants to take a handful of her “people” which are her princess figures, but that’s a small price to pay for my sanity. No waking up in the middle of the night, no screaming when I interrupt her playtime to tell her it’s time to lay down. Thank goodness, something good came out of my consistency, even if it took over 2 years to make it happen.

It’s hard to believe we thought we would only ever have one child — Lucy truly completes our family. She loves to dance (Shake it Off and Let it Go are her FAVES), build with blocks, play on the iPad, and is always cracking up or trying to sneak up on one of us! I was worried there for awhile that I was in for it, but she’s tamed down the drama quite a bit and is a very well behaved little girl with a ton of humor and personality. I enjoy her company so SO much and hate knowing that every time I kiss her tiny toes, I only get a few more years before that part of my life is over.

Until grandkids. Which I am totally in grandma training, so no worries. I’ll be ready to take charge! I mean…help out. I’ll be ready to help out.

Lucy loves dressing up in costumes — she recently wore a Sophia the First ballgown to church after a sobfest one Sunday morning. She’s constantly getting into my make-up and brushes and has an eye for anything sparkly. I brought home a pair of light up Minnie Mouse heels one day and she was in HEAVEN!!  I’ve also noticed her trying to get into my husband’s tools to “work” on things in the house, so I’m ordering her a toy tool kit. I love a girl that’s well-rounded!

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Jon David is getting so big, too!

He’s in fourth grade, and makes me proud every day. Never a single bad mark on his behavior report at school, and straight A’s all the time. I can tell that the grades will come harder to him in a few years, but I have confidence that he will still be able to pull it off. He’s a hardworking kid!

Just like with Lucy, we have our struggles that come with a 10 year old boy. Mainly called His Mouth and Words That Come Out of It. But I’m a strict mom who believes in tough lessons and I have faith that this phase will pass. Whether or not he retains possession of his iPod and Playstation at all times remains to be seen, but we will come out the other side unscathed and better for it! And again, wine.

He’s currently into Origami and even started his own business called Custom Folds. He has employees at school. EMPLOYEES, you guys. I can’t even. I deserve an award just for keeping a straight face every time he tells me that.

He’s also halfway through with the fourth book in the Harry Potter series, so he’s obviously being raised up right. Gryffindor for life!!

Jon David is mostly patient with Lucy and Lucy is mostly patient for him. Except when they annoy each other, which is about half of my life.

Just half, though. The other half I’m sleeping, so you see how this works.

Also, Minecraft? Still happening. Minecraft all day, Minecraft all night. I don’t know, it gives me vertigo.

 

That’s about it for now! As always, thank you so much for your comments and emails asking about the kids. They are my heart’s treasure and I appreciate that you care about them, too. It takes a village!