Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Five #50

We made it! This week seemed to drag by. Mr. Sass worked a week of midnight shift, 11PM - 7AM which screwed up our whole routine (if you can even call our scattered schedule a routine...). He was getting ready for work, bumping around the house while I was trying to fall asleep, and I'm really good at hearing every creak the house makes when he's not around. So, I'm super excited to get some deep sleep this weekend.

This weekend is also my final 5K of the year, and I've got big goals to run a sub-25 clock time! Keep your eyes peeled on Instagram for the results, and I'll have a race recap posted on Monday!

one // My salad game was on point this week. I usually struggle to eat my veggies as the weather gets colder, so I am on a mission this year. Spring mix, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, bacon bits, goat cheese, craisins & sunflower seeds. Hell yeah!

two // Honeymoon = 85% booked. We found a great deal, so we jumped on it, spent some nights on the couch researching extensively, and now it's booked! We have some hotels // days already planned out, and a few that we still have to plan, but I think that will be an exciting task. Even thinking about planning a trip makes me giddy! I am a traveler at heart for sure. We're headed to Switzerland!

Source : Wilderness Travel
three // When I was busy taking selfies at the gym & a guy walks into the room I'm in & gives me a funny look. Like, bro, I'm just trying to take selfies while I workout, don't worry about it. I didn't even realize I had captured this "blooper" until I was writing this post. But, I think my face says it all.

four // My office is freezing, then I spent Thursday traveling for work, to a warehouse that is not temperature controlled. Which, is code for, it's cold. Needless to say, I feel like I've been cold all week. I've been making a "redneck hot toddy" as I've decided to call it. Hot tea, some sort of rum (Mr Sass suggested vodka, but mmm, no thanks.) & honey. It's delicious, and I think you'll find me enjoying these until it's 65 degrees outside.

five // Funnies...while I wasn't loving this week, I was bee-bopping along just fine until some news yesterday bummed me out more than I anticipated. I'm sure I'll be posting eventually, but for now I'm just going to be vague (don't you love that on the Internet?) & deal with it all on the inside. So, I needed me some funnies...

I don't have kids...or do shrooms, but this sounds accurate.

 And me every time I pack for vacation...
Or anytime Mr. Sass has my phone. Like,why, why did I take all those selfies. Oh no, now he's gonna find them. He's gonna find out I'm weirder than he already knows that I am. Oh no. Panic.

Have a good weekend, friends. Tell me something good in the comments, I'm still sort of moping along, so I'd love to hear some good things you've got going on!

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Meal Plan for 2 : December 2016

I post my weekly grocery hauls on Instagram - and they're consistently a hit. Not only are you all interested in what we're eating, but in how we're saving money and feeding two adults for UNDER $50 each week.

So, I'm excited to share our meal plans with you once a month. I'm open to sharing more often, but since I'm not a food blogger, and don't plan to become one, I figure once a month will do the trick.

A few notes...
1. We do not prioritize buying organic. You may. If so, you'll probably spend more $ each week than we do.

2. Mr. Sass is a hunter, and therefore the rule, "You catch it, you eat it" applies around here. If he gets a deer (or more) you'll see venison on the menu a little more often. He does all his own processing and so you may see things like corned venison, or deer sausage on the menu as well.

3. 99.9% of our shopping is done at Aldi. If you don't have one in your area, that sucks. If you do, but haven't given it a try, I urge you to go for it. They're constantly making strides and impressing me. They also have large gluten free lines & are increasing their number of organic options, if that's important to you. If it can't be bought at Aldi, we usually just don't buy it. Every month or two I make make a stop at another grocery store to pick up things Aldi doesn't carry.

4. Our grocery budget doesn't include alcohol, which we do drink, because you can't buy it in grocery stores in PA. Which is a bummer, we know.

5. I aim to shop early on Saturday, so our meal plans run Saturday - Friday.

Without further adieu, our grocery haul. I spent $40.27

Mr. Sass sticks to bacon and eggs for breakfast each morning, while I've been having an english muffin, 2 hardboiled eggs and an apple each day. I always try to have bananas on hand since they're an easy snack and an easy thing to have as a pre-workout meal.

I snagged two boxes of mac & cheese. They're a cabinet staple around here as they're easy and quick when we're in a pinch - and have a long shelf life.

Mr. Sass insists on weekly rations of bread and yogurt, a request with which I happily comply. $.39 each for a few yogurts? I can do that.

I made a pot of white chicken chili (which required a jar of salsa verde from Trader Joe's) which lasted me for lunch all week. I ate it each day with a sprinkle of cheese and a crumbled up slice of cornbread. I make it using 1 x 28oz can of pinto beans, and omit the canelli beans entirely. I add an extra chicken breast, and omit the spices, because I'm lazy and think the salsa verde adds plenty of flavor. I leave it in the crockpot on low all day and it does just fine.

I make Mr. Sass eat leftovers for lunch - but we did do a swap when he decided my white chicken chili looked better than his jambalaya leftovers.

So, what were dinners like each day?

Saturday - Wedding #6

Sunday - Slow Cooker Jambalaya
We had all the ingredients we needed for this from the week prior. I ran out of onions so instead of running out mid-week we stretched our other meals and saved this one. You'll notice I bought two bags of onions so that won't happen again. I thought the jambalaya was great. Mr. Sass added Old Bay seasoning and requested I add shrimp next time.

Photo from Budget Bytes

Monday - Reubens made with homemade corned venison
Mr. Sass made a trip to buy some Rye Bread - since he said Italian wouldn't cut it. We had sauerkraut and defrosted some homemade corned venison,

Tuesday - Sweet potato and kielbasa hash, with brussels sprouts, bell pepper, mushroom and onion.
I snagged some inspiration from this recipe, but told Mr. Sass my vision and let him run with it.

Wednesday - Leftover hash for Mr. Sass, pizza with a friend for me

Thursday - Swedish meatballs with egg noodles. Side of brussels sprouts and carrots.

Friday - Leftovers, jambalaya for me, soup for him

I'll let you know that once it's all said and typed out this is definitely more eating out than we usually do in a week. Typically you'll see us eating at home, or packing a lunch 7 days a week.

What are some of your favorite crock pot meals?
Is seeing meal plans something that interests you?
What's your weekly grocery budget?

Linking up with Amanda

Monday, December 5, 2016

Weekend Highlights : Deep Creek, Maryland

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was spent away with some friends, but that meant it wasn't quite a normal routine. No Saturday morning grocery shopping, no early Saturday morning run. And no lazy Sunday morning spent drinking half a pot of coffee.

After work on Friday I headed to Deep Creek, MD to meet up with a few friends for a girls weekend. We found a deal on a tiny cabin at Blue Moon Rising. It's only a 2 hour drive from Pittsburgh, so it's the perfect distance for a quick weekend away.

We stayed in the Bella Donna cabin which featured a queen sized bed & a lofted sleeping area for two more beds. We loved the big kitchen island since it was perfect for eating dinner or playing a game. Though we didn't get to enjoy the firepit, it had the perfect overlook of Deep Creek Lake.

Once we arrived Friday night we headed to the Moonshadow Cafe, run by the same folks as Blue Moon Rising. We enjoyed some heavy appetizers before heading back to the cabin. We opened a bottle of wine and had a pretty late night by my standards (12:45AM) before we finally headed to bed.

Saturday had a lazy start as we made bacon & egg sandwiches, coffee  and mimosas while we talked over our options for the day. We decided to head to Swallow Falls State Park.

We hiked a quick loop taking us past Muddy Creek Falls, Swallow Falls and Tolliver Falls before we made it back to the car.

Then we headed to Mountain State Brewing to enjoy a beer before we headed back to our tiny home. I'm slowly trying out beer and finding out what I like and what I don't, so I signed myself up for a flight of 4 beers, all made by Mountain State Brewing.

After our post-hike beers it was time for a late lunch & eventually a late dinner as we tried some of the different wines we each brought, and played a board game, Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride was fun, and even more fun since I won. :) After that, we dove into the depths of the YouTube watching music videos, and making our own tribute, which hopefully will never make its way to the Internet.

We were "early" to bed since we had lots to do Sunday morning before checkout.

Sunday was filled with grocery shopping, meal prep, lots of laundry, and general cleaning around the house.

Now it's Monday again & I don't quite feel ready for another work week, but I'm sure I'll make it through.

How was your weekend?
Anyone ever been to Deep Creek, MD?
What signifies "the weekend" to you? 
For me, it's drinking lots of coffee, and a Saturday morning long run.

Linking up with Holly & Tricia 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Five #49

Hi friends! It feels like it has been forever since I wrote a Friday Five post. I took last Friday off, so it's been a while. I love sharing random snippets of my week with you. And I love even more when you play along in the comments & tell me bits of your week too! :)

The first half of the week flew by, but on Thursday things slowed to a snails pace as I waited for Friday to come around. I'm headed to Maryland for a girls weekend. I'm excited for a weekends worth of wine drinking, hiking and especially playing board games (something Mr. Sass does not enjoy)!

If you missed it on Wednesday, it has been a whole year of Sass over here at The Acquired Sass. And my December goals post went live on Monday.

There's been a lot happening in my world. Lots of it wedding related, like picking a dress & a caterer. So, big picture wise, wedding is planned. Some of it not wedding related. Like getting to see 4 of my best friends over Thanksgiving, which made me feel all warm & fuzzy.

On a 100% unrelated note. If anyone has been to Switzerland. EMAIL ME. Or leave a comment & I'll find you. Especially if it's recently enough that you can give recommendations. Let's chat!

Now on to your regularly scheduled Friday Five!

one // It's been Thanksgiving leftover remix week here in the Sass house. Cranberry sauce added to plain greek yogurt for breakfast. Mashed sweet potatoes turned into a savory soup.

And while I don't have enough turkey leftover to make a sandwich, I may just buy some, because I mixed together cranberry sauce & mayo, for a sweet and tangy sandwich topper. And ohh man was that delicious. Would recommend to a friend.

two // 15. The number of days I saw Mr.Sass during November even though we live together. Maybe he moved out? Haha. A hunting trip for him + a long Thanksgiving weekend away meant lots of time apart. Thankfully he's back, just in time to start 2 months of evening shift (3pm - 11pm) - so we can fall right back in our routine of never seeing each other.

three // Oh man. I'm not usually a shopper. But I went hard on Cyber Monday. Still waiting for things to show up, but here's the run down.

1. New gym bag - mine was already a little suspect, but then a take-out container leaked some pasta sauce on it. So, out with the old, in with the new.

2. Wedding shoes! Yeah, you'll see me rocking my wedding dress, but a quick peep underneath & you'll see these babies!

3. Running shoes x 2 - when I saw my current running shoes for 50% off I knew I had to. I waited until I got home to double check my size, but they were all sold out on the Saucony website. I was so sad. But, found them on the DSW site for the same price & still with free shipping. I missed out on one of the color combos I wanted. But, I'll live. I'm not exactly known for being as fashionista.

four // Headed to Bad Tom Smith Brewing with my friend Sally over Thanksgiving. We each tried 4 different beers in a flight & were all too happy to pimp out our Instagrams for a free pint glass for a promotion they were having. Still don't love beer, but it's getting to be tolerable. That's progress, right? If you're in Cincinnati, check it out. The Cincinnati craft beer scene has really exploded the past few years, so I can't wait to make my rounds next time I'm back.

WANTED : FREE PINT GLASS For being a badass

five // FUNNIES!

I feel like this is Instagram all of the time. People "keeping it simple" which is still fancier than me when I'm trying hard. Which is why I don't post food pics. Or oatmeal pics. 'Cause all stirring in chocolate protein powder does is make it look like my oatmeal was shat out by something on the side of the road. Haha.

 And also this. I forever know too much & have to pretend I don't. Ohh, you and your boyfriend broke up. Wow. Tell me more about that. I had no idea! LOLZ.

What are you up to this weekend?
What's your favorite way to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers - or any leftovers?
Any good Cyber Monday or Black Friday buys? 

linking up with Heather, Amanda, AndreaTifDella & Katie

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Best of The Acquired Sass - 1 year Blogiversary

Hey you guyyyyys! I've been blogging for a whole year (and a few days). Which is absolutely bananas. I was never sure if I would like this blogging bit, continually have things to talk about, and actually put forth work to type them down. But I did, and you guys liked it, and you commented to tell me you liked it. And now I have even more people in my life I met on the Internet. Mr. Sass being the most famous of my Internet people.

I am continually amazed & astounded that random people from the Internet want to read things I typed, and that they also are inspired to make comments about the things I write. Mr. Sass is equally or perhaps even more amazed than I. Thank you.

Instead of giving you a big long list of things I learned in my first year of blogging -'cause it's a lot. I'm going to shamelessly self promote. And link drop to the Best of the Sass - my most popular post from each month I've been over here blogging. Perhaps you'll notice I've refined my style aka stopped centering all my text. Because while I still love how centered text looks, the Internet tells me it's a big blogging no-no.

November 2015 : Here I go, again
My self proclaimed return to blogging, that for whatever reason STILL gets weekly page views.

December 2015 : WIAW : Stuck on Repeat
When I literally ate the same salad over and over and over again for weeks and apparently people still cared. It was a good salad.

January 2016 : WIAW #5 : Why I'm pretty sure Whole 30 is NOT for me
Actually, I'm super sure about this. And have been busy finding balance since this. But, if you're going to join the post-holiday Whole30 club, check out this post. It may not be worth it.

February 2016 : Why I only run 3 days per week : 6 reasons why you should too
My most viewed post. Ever. And something I stand by still to this day.

March 2016 : 5 Reasons to travel with Groupon
March was a popular month around these parts. There were lots of good posts going live, and the top 5 are all within a few page views of one another. A few others that made the top 5 include, 6 tips for traveling with your significant other, New Zealand Trip Recap : Part 3, Back to Basics : How to get back in the workout groove & 25 Things I've Learned about Life.

April 2016 : Adulting 101 : How to Adult when you don't feel qualified
This is one of my favorite posts. I followed it up with a few others on adulting, Adulting 101 : Fake it 'til you make it and then 10 MORE ways to fake it 'til you make it. It was fun and cathartic to write. And I loved how relate-able it was. Apparently I'm not the only one around here who can't adult.

May 2016 : Would you Rather?
The moment where your most popular blog post for a whole month has nothing to do with a big half marathon you ran, or the trip recaps on Venice, or Slovenia you posted. But instead, the random blog survey you took when you didn't know what the hell to write about. Smooth move Internet.

June 2016 : 6 Simple Rules for Successful Online Dating
Considering Mr. Sass & I met via the Internet, I'd say I was fairly successful.

July 2016 : A Letter from the Other Side
This was a sad and serious post to have to write. But I was pleased to see it received with respect - and hope I managed to provoke some thought.

August 2016 : I'm moving, again
Also, as a follow up. We use my dishes. Score. I kept my granny panties. Not sure if this should be a score or not. And, as I packed up my old apartment, I found about an 8 years supply of tampons. So, it'll be a while before they go on the grocery list.

You guys also went crazy for my Budgeting 101 : My REAL budget with real numbers post. Which still just blows my mind - but shows how important it is that we talk about money. It doesn't need to be taboo!

September 2016 : It's been two years, my love
Mr. Sass and I hit two years of dating. So I wrote a sappy post to celebrate.

October 2016 : Friday Five #43
Mr. Sass & I announced that we got engaged and apparently you all liked that. :) I followed that up by posting our Engagement Story - and you seemed to like that too.

Here we are, and it has been a whole year. I'm excited to keep going, I've got ideas rolling around in my brain and am excited to type them out. I love reading the comments you leave, and visiting your blogs too if they're not already on my regular list. And, I'm gonna break all the rules of writing and use the word "excited" again in this paragraph. But I'm excited for more. More posts, more friends, more learning. It's fun to be excited about learning things (okay now I'm just doing it to be annoying).

Thank you all for reading, commenting, giving advice & caring. And cheers to another year of Sass!

If you're a blogger, how long have you been blogging?
If you're not a blogger, have you ever considered starting one?
What's stopping you?

Linking up with Amanda, Gretchen & Kristen

Monday, November 28, 2016

December 2016 Goals + November Goal Recap

Y'all know I love a good goal post. So, as we creep towards the end of the year (I know, right, how is it seriously almost 2017?)  not only do I want to spend some time talking about my smaller monthly goals, but about some of my larger goals as well. What will running look like for me in 2017? What will life look like for me in 2017? And how will I make it all happen?

So, if you like these goal posts of mine, get psyched - there are more coming! If you don't, say whaaaat? JK. Umm, my apologies then I guess, 'cause we're about to get real goal oriented up in herrr these next few weeks.

But for now, a look at how November went + some December goals...I tried to keep it simple in November. Remember when I thought I would be able to take a nap on November 19th? Yeah, joke is on me - no nap. Not even close. Sigh. Here's how the month went.

Jump into 5K training | Nailed it!
I found myself a plan - modified it to fit my timeline & desired days of running each week (3) and off I went! I even had my "test" 5K (recap here) and came just shy of officially meeting my goal. I've got one more 5K on the calendar this year, so IT'S ON!

Unpack // Trash 2 more boxes | No
Does unpacking a big quilt // blanket because I was cold count? No, you say? But it was in a box! I got ruthless with a few shirts that I love in theory, but are not flattering and do not fit well. And I drank some wine to help empty out a box that had previously held lots of bottles. But in general, nope.

Send out Save The Date's | Whoa we're halfway there
Emailed to get them printed, told my files are wrong size, get correct size files, re-send to printer, printing company has them done in under 2 hours, my Mom adds 32 people to the guest list, putting us 32 people over the room capacity. Then find out printing company only printed 25 - email them. Get told they misunderstood my request. See red since they ask me to pay again, putting me over my anticipated budget. Talk to owner, get nowhere. Suck it up and pay again in the interest of time. Leave negative review on all social media. Phew. I'm tired just talking about all of this. So no, these have not been sent. But they're in hand! Since my handwriting >  Mr. Sass' I'll be taking this one on. I managed to get 20 done for his people and mailed last week, so I'm chipping away at it.

Maintain Weight |  Oh yeah she did!
Didn't lose even a tenth of a tenth of a pound. But, I also didn't let any of my hard work get undone by piling weight back on. So this is a win in my book. Not sure how I managed it in fact as I was well below my step goal each week, and was low on water. But, I'm going to focus in my efforts on more steps & more water so I can keep this mojo for December!

I kept it easy peasy in November to give myself a month of wins, after a flop in October. And I'm aiming to keep it simple again in December. I want to spend the month enjoying the holiday parties, not scrambling to complete meaningless goals. So here's what we got...

Finish up 5K training | One more 5K to go this year - and one more chance to crush my goal. I want to finish the year on a strong note.

Finish up Save The Date's | 20 have been sent out, I've been trying to chip away at this, a few addressed and mailed out each day. My goal is to have this done by the middle of the month so people can have it on the calendar before the Christmas rush.

Maintain Weight | Stale office kitchen donuts are NOT worth it. Say it with me now...stale office kitchen donuts are not worth it. It's hard to say no some times, but so worth it to enjoy things like my favorite homemade cookies, or Starbucks holiday drink. Not every cast off that waltzes into the office between now and January.

Outline 2017 goals | I plan to do separate goal posts for my overall personal goals as well as physical // running goals. But some of those are still in limbo. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want my life to be like in one year, five years, and ten years, and what parts of that I am able to work towards and control. A lot of that now includes talking with Mr.Sass about our visions, how they align and how they may differ. Lots happening.

That's it. Simple again for December. I'm focused on making memories, enjoying holiday parties and spending time with friends // family.

What are some of your December goals?

Linking up with Holly & Tricia  + Ange

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 2016 Link Love

If you're anything like me, you love discovering new blogs & interesting articles, interesting perspectives, something different. And I don't know about you, but I feel like sometimes I see the same 50 pins on my Pinterest homepage - and all I want is something different. I also love giving love to other bloggers out there, because this shit is hard & no reason we can't pass out a little extra love.

So, welcome to my monthly Link Love post - where I highlight some of my favorites from the month. News articles, blog posts, recipes, crafts, whatever. I'm excited to share & I hope you'll find some new things you haven't seen before. Or, if you've got a post you think might fit the bill - send it my way {theacquiredsass at gmail dot com}

As cranberries pop up on sale at ALL the grocery stores, I finally have a recipe that sounds like it's worth making, which is this Cranberry Orange Bread. Or, if you're not feeling sweet, why not use those cranberries in this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash side dish? Or, if you decide you'd rather go the boozy route, toss a few frozen cranberries into this Orange Cranberry Margarita.

If you're stuck about what to bring to a holiday party, how about the makings for a few of these super simple, 3 ingredient crostinis? With 12 different options, it doesn't matter if you're team sweet, or team savory, you're covered. But, if you want to whip up a quick easy dessert, check out Kristy's 12 Chocolate Bark Recipes. Chocolate + potato chips? Ohhhh yeah.

Holiday parties aside, I love having a house I can host in. Now that Mr. Sass & I are living together I've been pestering him to be crafty and make me things. One of the perks of a handy husband. These DIY bookshelves are ADORABLE, but I also think they could probably hold a few bottles of wine just fine too. I mean, go with your heart.

And finally, I've seen a lot of negativity, in a month that should be filled with joy and thanks. I'm trying to fill my life with good and focus on being a better me, so I loved this list of 27 ways to give back.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving - or for my non-US friends, a particularly great Thursday. Imma take Friday off, but I'll "see" you all on Monday. :)