Monday, June 10, 2013

3 in 1 Taco salad

I love streching one nights cooking into multiple meals and that is one Thing I do with Taco Salad.

Shopping List:
500 gramm minced meat
1 pack taco seasoning
1 onion
1 can kidney beans
1 can corn
1 head lettuce
1 small Container sour cream
1 jar salsa
1 Cup Brown Rice
1 Bag Tortilla Chips
1 Bag Shredded cheese

Day 1 Taco salad Dinner:
Brown the meat, add in sliced onion and taco seasoning cook well. Add corn and beans till warm. Melt in some cheese.

Cut up salad. Mix sour cream and salsa to preffered spiciness. Crush up half bag Tortilla Chips.

I Keep my lettuce seperate to Keep left overs fresh.

I layer warm mix, then lettuce then Chips and on top Dressing. Fed our Family (2 adults and toddler)

Day 2 Mexican Rice Lunch:
Cook 1 Cup Brown Rice

Add in yesterdays meat mix till heated.

Serve with remaining salad and Dressing.

Day 3 Nachos Lunch:
Heat up remaining Rice mix. Layer on remaining Tortilla Chips. Sprinke on cheese and remaining salsa.

Uses up most all ingredients so no waste. Leaving 3/4 bag Brown Rice for another meal and the rest of the bag of onions.



Meal plan Monday

As of now I have my meals planned out through the 22nd when we get our Kindergeld, I however do not plan in left over meals so it will strech much further hopefully till the end of the month and if not I will tack on some extra meals. I right now am buying about 5 days groceries at a time to prevent waste, and I plan my meals baised on using up what I have to Limit what we Need to buy :)

mon 10 - oatmeal and apple
Tue 11- Grießbrai and apple
Wen 12- Cols cereal and apple
Thur 13- Oatmeal and apple
Fri 14- Cereal and apple
Sat 15- Pancakes
Sun 16- Warm rolls with cold cuts
Mon 17- oatmeal with fruit (If apples are left will use those otherwise fresh fruit that is on sale)
Tue 18- cereal with fruit
Wen 19- grißebrei with fruit
Thu 20- cereal with fruit
Fri 21- oatmeal with fruit

Morning Snack: Apple Sauce or yogurt

Lunches: Our hot meal
mon 10 - Left over from last nicht taco salad add a Cup Rice with canned pineapple
Tue 11- Potatoes and eggs with mustard Sauce with left over pineapple
Wen 12- Lentil soup over splatzle with mandarines
Thur 13- Milchreis with marmalade, toast and peaches
Fri 14- Chicken freid Rice with rest of the peaches
Sat 15- Grilled cheese with soup and sliced cucumbers
Sun 16- Veggie burgers, hamburgers with fried and pears
Mon 17- Macaroni and cheese with brocolli and rest of pears
Tue 18- Potatoes with krauterquark and fruit salad
Wen 19- Couscous with rest of fruit salad
Thu 20- Hamburger helper with green beans and fruit
Fri 21- Scrammbled eggs with veggie and fruit

Afternoon Snack:
raisen, nuts, Crackers and cheese

Abend Brot with pickeled salads first up Senf gurken then gurken salat and will pick up more when those run out likely some carot salad or White cabbage

Evening Snack:
Cookie and tea


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meal plan May 9-17th

Here is our meal plan for the rest of the week and next week. We did take the purge to vegetarianism. DH still has meat dishes to choose from at work and we do still have meat options for lunch for the boys.

We do hot meals once a day.

Grilled cheese with baked beans

Cheese Frittata with roasted asparagus

Pasta with salad and baugette

Spicy mango tofu with coconut sauce and brown rice

Hummus wraps with roasted spring vegetables

Mango and black bean quiona salad

Chick pea coconut curry with brown rice

Veggie helper

Omlettes and spinach

For dinners we do abend brot with veggiecold cuts, cheese, veggies and various spreads. I usually serve salads with dinner.

Breakfast we do oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt ect. On Saturdays we eat hot and sunday rolls for breakfast.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Expanded and Updated: Freebies for expecting and new parents in Germany

This was by far the most popular blog post on Ich liess mein Herz in Deutschland with thousands of hits, so I figured an update and expansion would be well recieved. So here you go freebies for expecting and new parents in Germany.  If you know of any other baby bonus or freebie programs please email me or leave a comment.




Now before you get all grateful I have to admit this was put together by a friend of mine and is reposed with her permissions. So I will pass any gratitude her way.

Please note some places allow you to sign up while pregnant others must be done after your baby arrives :)

First up here are the baby clubs that offer a welcome packet full of freebies and coupons:

Real: A welcome box of goodies including a toy and socks as well as a coupon book as well as yearly birthday gifts

DM: A welcome packet that includes toy some sample sized toiletries and a book of coupons valued at over 200 euro. Cannot register until after the babies birth.

DM is now a days constantly revamping their welcome packages. It appers to vary per location but includes full size freebies for mom and baby as well as a coupon book.

Rossmann: A welcome packet that includes a toy, sample sized toiletries and a book of coupons valued at over 300 euro. In addition to age appropriate advice and tips, year 1 and 2 birthday gifts, regular coupon offers by post and a magazine subscription for parents.
They do allow registration while pregnant.

Check out my pregnancy welcome kit here.

Globus: Not sure of the contents never signed up for this one

Mueller: A 5 euro voucher  and a coupon book as well as some small trinkets

You can also sign up at many of the major baby companies in order to receive a variety of samples and coupons.

Pampers: A free personalized T shirt for baby, free diapers, and 50 euros on coupons, as well as coupons sent out on a regular basis and a subscription to pampers village magazine

Hipp: A welcome packet with free baby food and various samples, a 20 euro gift certificate to start a baby savings account, over 100 euro in coupons, a membership card that gives you discounts in many family activities, exclusive contests to enter, a 50 euro HP gift card, and a personalized name sticker for your car

I got a pregnancy kit from them as well, check it out here

Alete/Nestle: A welcome packet with a variety of samples as well as over 30 euro in coupons

Milupa: Food samples and coupons

Bebivita: Food samples and coupons

Also when you sign up with the hebamme for the geburtsvorbereitung course you are often given a gift set., Many hospitals offer a baby packet but some do not. Some have cray cool ones others just give you some samples and call it a day.

Getting ready for the sun

The weather has finally started to take a turn to the warm side woohoo. This year one thing I want to change is to spend less time indoors and spend more time outside with my boys. One thing I miss terribly from our last place is having a garden and while we have multiple balconies those on the actual floor we live in are itsy bitsy and not of much use when it comes to enjoying the outdoors.

We have a big terrace area outside and a nice little feced off area with a gate but the lady down on the first floor is bogarting the key to enter the litle enclosed area. She claims if its open kids torment her and rap on her windows. Now personally I think a 2 foot fence is not doing much to prevent rambuncious teens from rapping her windows and I am happy to lock the gate but I have the sneaking suspision she wont give up that key. So I am going to create a play corner in the main terrace, if they bitch well then I have levearage to demand the key to the side garden area. I will of course take our summer toys indoors come cold weather no permanent play fixtures so no room to complain.

Anywho so I am going to set up a sand pit. Going to get one of these.

I do not plan to use the other side for water but rather a cover since many people have outdoor cats and no one wants to find buried trasures in the sandbox. At least I sure as hell dont. And sure do not want my kids to.

I am also on the look out for a little plastic slide. I found one used nearby for 10 euro. Its snbleached but that doesnt hurt anything.

Something like this:

Then just need a outdoor chair for me to sit and watch the kids.

I would love to get a plastic playhouse but they cost hundreds here and used still go for 100 euro around here maybe next year I will find a reasonable used one for the boys. 

How bad ass is this, but 350 euro, hahahaha nooooooo

And of course we have our bobby car, dreirad and laufwagon for outside just need to get a helmet for Pooh.

Our big patio is in the loft. And its lovely just unfortionate that its fully disconected from our apartment. I would kill to have a nive big patio off of our living room how lovely that would be.

But I would like to start eating some meals up there and I would like to set up some play stations for the boys. We already have an old table up there and chairs to eat at. I would love to get a little water/sand play table for up there I am keeping my eyes open for a used one.

Doesn't that look fun:

But I also wanted to create a planting/dirt play station. Like a container full of dirt with shovels and some plastic plants that they can plant and dig up maybe some plastic bugs to bury.

and I would love to get one of these for the boys up there:

would be great to eat at as well as a fun place to do crafts or activities

On my own I would love to venture into planter gerdening grow some user friendly produce and add some flowers to our patios as well as add some plants indoors. I think some hanging greenery would loook lovels from the vaulted wooden cielings. I normally have a black thumb of death when it comes to plants but I have managed to keep my daisies alive a few months so I would love to venture a bit more into plants they make me happy.

Did I mention I am trapped. Both kids are napping. Went down without a fuss thank god. But little one decided he cannot sleep without a nipple in his mouth. When I dare to try and escape he lets it known. Oh and guess what he started babbling today. MAMAMAMAMA BABABABABA DADADADADA so sweet I will have to make a video. We sent back the busted camera so hopefully another one will come next week.

I am rather thrilled for the weekend. It came as a suprise to me as I woke up convinced it was Thursday as T stared at me like I had 5 heads when I insisted he must be confused about the days of the week lol. SOme times the days all blend together. No big plans for the weekend. I think we will take the kids to play in the sand pits at the park and maybe go for a walk in  the woods. Not much to do a few days before payday ends of the month always suck.

Oh I got a brand new 100 piece puzzle from a lovely lady in my gifting group and as soon as T saw it he said why dont we do that this weekend. I have long been saying we need to get out of our media rut and find activities to do together so I was so delighted he wanted to puzzle with me. I think some movies are in order as well. Man netflix has sure expanded their streaming selections so much to choose from these days I love it especially the documentaries. Hmm maybe I will go find something now to watch since I am trapped anywho.

Well I wish everyone a happy Friday. :)


Thursday, April 25, 2013

To be or not to be

I was vegetarian for years. Die hard vegetarian, like peta protest and president of the university animal activism club vegetarian. All rather ironic since you really cannot be all that die hard unless you go vegan right. Kinda hyprocritical lol.

Anywho I have been toying with the idea of going back to vegetarianism for a few years now. I go back and forth for a variety of reasons. I question if there is any since in it when I have no desire to go vegan and am a fan of all things  öko including animal products such as leather and wool. At the same time of course I realize there are many other positive aspects in a vegetarian diet to consider.

At the end of the day meat freaks me out. Seems silly to consume something you can only eat when you fully desensitize yourself to what it really is. That and I love me some chicken. It was always my weakness. I have toyed with the idea of just eliminating red meat and leaving the occasional chicken, though that leaves me feeling like a fakatarian haha.

I suppose I will just start introducing more vegetarian meals and reducing meat baised meals and go from there. We will never be the vegetarian or vegan family, besides the fact that my husband would never fully go vegetarian he is not comfortable raising vegetarian kids and that is ok even if I do decide to go full on meat free I was vegetarian with a meat eating partner for years and just altered dishes to accomidate myself. Some thinsg seem easier then others. I found a variety of things between aldi and dm to replace meats in my diet, sure too if I venture into the big city for the reform house I would find even more.

I am not sure where the hesitation stems from. Fear of change or having to make adaptations which really should not be all that bothersome as I already want to redo our diet and focus more on real whole foods and less fertig produkte. I just sit on the fence, or rather edge of the pond with my toes dangling in the water yet afraid to jump in. So silly considering I already did it what 10 years and thats like a third of my life meat free. I was just so dependent on the ease of it in the us, especially portland. Veggies options everywhich way you turn.

I wonder if I would feel better, physically I mean by altering my diet. I dunno. But I am tired of siting and wondering...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Typical Tuesday

Pretty quite at the moment. Both kids are asleep and I have a pot of bad ass mac and cheese on the stove. I like to beef up my boxed meals lol. I learned the trick when I wanted to make them go further since my American foods are not sold here, its like boxed gold, no wasting two boxes on one meal lol. So I fried up a pound og ground beef added a can of chili diced tomatoes and some mac and cheese. I hope it tastes good first time with this combo. I like to have lunch ready when Pooh wakes up or else he gets rather pissy and stands in front of the fridge screaming want some while I prepare lunch so I try to be proactive and avoid a meltdown.

Yesterday we had a long day out at the park with our play group so today is just a quiet day at home. I do not get many on the go pictures since my small camera broke and carying around a canon is not very practical while chasing a toddler. We ordered a new camera from Otto t it arrived broken so we had to send it back for a replacement I hope we get a new one soon and then I can start taking pictures more.

Today was fun we got 3 packages. I am active in a gifting group with some other german women. YOu put up and album to give away and can pic from other peoples albums. We got 3 boxes of goodies.

Pooh loves getting mail. Poor kid the other day he brought me a box of diapers and a plastic knife. He was rather dissapointed at the lack of treasure inside. Check out the radtastic sunglasses we have been working on our dress up bin.

Tonight should be pretty laid back. T will be watching champions leauge so I will likely dive into a book or something on netflix not so into the whole fußball thing myself. 

Well I hear the sound of little feet pitter pattering, better go get that bad ass mac and cheese ready to roll. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Who the hell are you lady...

So I figure rather then some cheesy intro and laid out expectations I would just jump right in but I suppose a short intro is in order.

I am Rena. I formerly blogged about my life as an expat in Germany at Ich liess mein Herz in Deutschland. I took a blogging break after the birth of my first and decided to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with a new blog.

This blog will be a reflection of the hodgepodge that is my brain and Chaos that is my life as an Expat in Germany with 2 small children.

I have two sons Pooh 2 years old and Que 5 months. I have been married to a German and living in Germany going on 5 years.

I enjoy long walk on the beach, good wine, haha...

Nah I am interested and strive for a more minamlistic and frugal lifestyle. I blog about expat living. Life as a hippish inclined mom. That kind of stuff.

So lets jump right in shall we ....

Welcome to 2+2 macht 4