Weekly Meal Plan & My Happy Things: On the Road to Vegas Baby!

poolside Las VegasThere’s no place like Vegas!

Happy September.  I hope everyone had a fabulous Labor Day weekend!

My family and I took a road trip to Las Vegas over the long weekend.  It was hot but fun!

I’ll share more below, plus my other happy things of late, but first, this week’s meal plan



  • Amazingly Addictive Artichoke Squares {Making a big batch to freeze & serve later for school lunches.}-vegetarian & gluten-free
  • Green Salad: Greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes with golden balsamic vinagrette.
  • Apple slices with Cinnamon


  • Mexican Stuffed Potatoes from The Swanky Dietitian-vegetarian & gluten-free
  • Raw veggies {carrots, bell peppers, & cucumbers}
  • Fresh blueberries



DAY FIVE {SiSi’s 11th Birthday dinner request}

  • Best ever Macaroni and Cheese from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef-vegetarian & gluten-free
  • Bison hotdogs
  • Fresh raw veggies
  • Fresh fruit
  • Birthday cake!
As always, you can also find my weekly menu plan here on Pinterest, and even though I don’t post my menu’s on my blog every week, I’m pretty good about posting them weekly on Pinterest.

And, now a quick look at what’s making me happy lately 🙂

My Happy Things

A good, old fashioned road trip…

driving home from Las vegas at sunsetDriving home from Las Vegas at sunset.  I don’t know about you, but it’s been awhile since my family and I have taken a good, old fashioned road trip.  The plans started earlier this summer, when SiSi was lamenting the fact that her baby brother, Big Tex  has gotten to celebrate his birthday in both London AND New Zealand, while her birthday has always been celebrated at home. Never mind that his birthday usually aways falls during spring break when we travel, sibling rivalry prevails. So we gave SiSi the option on having a birthday party, or taking her BFF on a road trip somewhere relatively close to home.  Obviously she chose the road trip.  Las Vegas came at the suggestion of her dad 🙂 Clearly Las Vegas with kids is very different than Las Vegas without kids.  Highlights of the trip included Saturday poolside at our hotel, Mandalay Bay, where we all floated around the lazy river, and did some bodysurfing in the wave pool; riding the roller coaster and playing in the video arcade at New York New York; checking out the fountain show at the conservatory at Bellagio; getting close up with the sharks at the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef aquarium; getting a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas; and lots and lots of walking and people watching.  It was fun.  It was hot.  It was Vegas.  P.S.  I highly recommend the tapas at Julian Serrano at the Aria Hotel.  Delicious!

Jasper State~A dog that convinces children to eat their greens…

feeling great with jasper state bookI’m a big fan of encouraging kids {adults too!} to eat more veggies and fruits, but as many parents know, getting kids to eat their green veggies can be a challenge.  I was delighted to receive a copy of Feeling Great with Jasper State recently, and I love how Jasper the dog shows kids that eating their green veggies can make them “healthy, strong, and smart” just like him.  Not only is the book gorgeously illustrated, it also features a fun song along with a sing along CD.  I highly recommend this book for kids ages 3-7.  You can purchase the book at my Amazon Store, and to learn more about Jasper State visit the official website for the doggie “on a mission from the FDA-the Food and Doggie Administration.”  Kids don’t want to eat their greens? Try this purple “green” smoothie with kale and blueberries, one of Big Tex’s favorites! Note: I was given a free copy of this book to review.  My opinions are 100 % my own.

Blue Striped Dishtowels form Ace Hardware…

blue striped dishtowels

Yes, dishtowels make me happy.  Especially when they’re pretty and blue and absorbent like these dishtowels from Ace Hardware.  Have you been to an Ace Hardware lately?  Not only do they have my favorite Benjamin Moore paint, but they also have one of the best gifts shops around.  Seriously!

Coconut Bliss Popsicles from Luna & Larry…

coconut bliss popsicles from larry and luna

Have you tried these Coconut Bliss bars before?  Gluten, dairy, and soy free.  Oh.my.goodness they are absolutely delicious!  For more of my favorite products, you can also check out my Favorite Foodie Brands and Products on Pinterest.

Functional things that are also pretty, plus more sweet notes from my kiddos…

clothespin floral magnetsI like pretty things, but even better, I like pretty things that are also functional, such as these clothes pinsI bought in Chinatown, that are also magnets, and can hold my kids artwork and love notes.  Read the note from Big Tex.  I can’t remember what I got mad at him about, but I must have gotten my point across.  So sweet.

That’s it for today.  What’s making you happy this week?  Have you planned out your meals?  Taken any road trips lately???

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  1. I need to get better at meal planning now that school is back in session. Thanks for putting this together (and for including one of our family favorites).

  2. I love the book!!! I want it and I don’t even have young kids!! 🙂 I love the mini clips with the sweet notes…I miss that age, so loving!!! Ace Hardware, huh?? How about that! I may have to venture over this weekend, who knew??
    Menu is looking fabulous, as usual! Kristen’s Mexican stuffed potatoes sound divine!!
    Have a fab rest of your week!!!

    • It’s a fun book Teri-no need to have young kids to enjoy it! I can just picture you now, dancing around the house, rocking out to Feeling Great With Jasper State 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful week too!

  3. Big Tex is such a sweetheart! So many good things in this post that I will just say that it is fab & I’m glad SiSi enjoyed her road trip. Love all the meal suggestions too, especially the delicious-sounding Artichoke squares. Your menus always inspire me. I wish I could be so disciplined!

    • Thanks so much Kellie! That note made me smile for sure. And, BTW, I’m not disciplined by nature, but somethings I need just need to plan, otherwise my household would be a complete and udder disaster!

  4. What fun you’re having! Nothing particular this week…but still extra happy! Every month I buy myself a new book, so the first week of the month has always got me excited to sit back with a cup of tea and my reading’ on. Road trip in sight for November if all goes well…looks like it might be New York, woot!

    • I love that you buy yourself a new book at the beginning of each month Vanessa. What a great and comforting ritual! Road trip to NYC sounds like a lot of fun, although it would be a little too long from here 🙂 Enjoy!

  5. You hit all of my favorite Vegas spots. The conservatory at Bellagio is one of my favorites! It is so pretty! 🙂
    I hope you enjoy the Mexican stuffed potatoes! They were delicious! 🙂

  6. Mexican potatoes on the menu tonight. I’m sure we will all love them! The Bellagio conservatory is one of my favorite spots too-much calmer and more zen like than the rest of Vegas 🙂

  7. Aww, I love the notes! And you know I always love your Weekly Meal Plans. I love planning our meals – it makes me feel like we’re saving time, money, + energy, + also making better decisions. Can’t wait to hear how those Mexican-stuffed potatoes turned out!

    • EA-The Spicy RD says:

      Thx Amy! You should see my office…love notes taped to the wall everywhere 🙂 We had the Mexican Stuffed Potatoes 2 nights ago. Very yummy and super easy too! I have loved all of Kristen’s {The Swanky Dietitian} recipes that I have tried!

  8. just read another blogger (you know Ameena?) going to vegas, lazy river and all. I have one spring break birthday too, my little one hasn’t been jealous of celebrations in belize or toronto but it’s only a matter of time. Your menus always sound good. My mug of coffee in my favorite mug from Task NYC is making me very happy.

    • EA-The Spicy RD says:

      I’ve seen Ameena comment on your blog…so many people in Vegas, it’s crazy! But then, you live in NYC, so it’s like that all the time, right? 🙂 Coffee in a favorite mug is the best!

  9. It sounds like a delicious week! I’m a little bit jealous of your road trip–I’ve never been to Vegas. I’m glad you had a good trip!

  10. My roommate had those Coconut Bliss bars in our freezer last week. I was tempted to snag one, but instead made a mental note to perhaps pick some up of my own one of these days!

    Right now, the love and affection my puppy is showing me is making me happy. He runs around all day with my roommates dog, and then when he is tuckered out he seeks me out to snooze next to me while I work and study. 🙂

  11. fun and shes a smart girl, thats why we came to celebrate Rs first birthday in style

  12. I have never been to Vegas and now more than ever after your post I wish to go. What a fun road trip packed with great food!

  13. Isabel Ortman says:

    Good analysis . BTW , people want a a form , We filled a sample form here http://goo.gl/wHuITl


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