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A New Year, A New You: Cooking More @ Home + A GIVEAWAY!

January 1, 2014 in I Adore What I Love

First off, HAPPY TWENTY FOURTEEN to you, you and you! 

I hope everyone had an excellent NYE yesterday whether you partied the night away at the trendiest bar/club in town, decided you’re old enough now to be okay with enjoying a relaxing dinner at home (this is the category that I fell into), or rang in the new year on vacation in a completely different time zone (sounds heavenly, although I can’t relate this year)!  I don’t know about you, but I’m SO ready to take on this upcoming year full force ahead.  Not sure why, but I just have a good feeling about 2014!

Speaking of yesterday, did you see my post titled “I Adore What I Blogged: The Top Posts of 2013“?? It was one of faves to write ever because 1. I got to reminisce about all the topics that I’ve written about over the past year and 2. it was really fun going down memory lane!  Unfortunately, the server that hosts my blog – Bluehost –  was down yesterday for a few hours so the post wasn’t live for very long. If you missed it, please check it out when you get a chance!! =)

Now for the good stuff: I partnered up with a few other bloggers to share with you this post entitled “A New Year, A New You”!  What does that mean, you ask? Well, each of us are posting on a topic that would benefit you in your everyday life.  I’m writing about cooking more at home, because well, it’s something that I want to start doing myself.

A New Year, A New You - via I Adore What I Love

One of the reasons I think cooking at home is important is that it allows you to know exactly what you are putting in your body.  There are no mysteries as to what you are consuming and typically, if you’re cooking at home, you’re using fresh ingredients that are healthier than say, the chef at your local neighborhood restaurant would even be using.  With that, you know exactly how much salt, sugar, butter, etc. that you’ve included in your entree which is one definite way of making sure your waistline stays slim and trim.

Secondly, obviously we all have to eat and if we aren’t cooking at home, the opposite would mean that we’re usually going out or ordering in.  Yikes!  That is so ridiculously hard on your my wallet!!  In 2014, one of my major goals for my husband and I is to spend less on food out!

But we’re foodies! I know!  I’m not NOT going to go out, I’m just going to plan for us to do it less. Got it? Good.

The next reason why we should all stay in and cook at home is because it’s fun!  Much like blogging, cooking totally calms and relaxes me.  The point of making your own meals is to make whatever dish you’re preparing taste good – so have fun with it!  Don’t be afraid to substitute a different vegetable into your favorite BBQ Chicken Foil Pack recipe or use almond milk instead of skim in that delicious recipe for Pumpkin Pie Pudding.

No one can deny the fact that cooking at home makes for an excellent date night!  My hubby is no chef but boy can he man the grill like no other!  While I’m busy whipping up the sides, he can be grilling the meat or fish, or even cutting up the veggies in his downtime.  Put some music on, pour a generous portion of wine for the two of you, and enjoy a lovely and entertaining evening right before your eyes!

Last but not least, it’s such a great feeling when you sit down to eat the food that you’ve put together yourself!  You can take pride in that scrumptious shrimp creole and also know that you won’t gain 20 pounds after eating it. You chose the ingredients. You planned the meal. And now you can enjoy every bite with a huge smile on your face!

And hey, you may even have leftovers for tomorrow. It’s a win-win!

Now for the GIVEAWAY, the past six months of my life have been so focused on my new role in my teaching career that I’ve hardly had time to make dinner for my husband. Whereas I used to get home around 4:30, sit and watch TV for an hour and then start the oven, lately I don’t leave work until 7, then I’ll pick up Isaiah on the way home and we won’t get step foot in the apartment until 8.  After a super long day of teaching first graders, the last thing that I ever want to do at that hour is cook.  Can you blame me?  It’s honestly a vicious cycle though and I miss going to the grocery store, planning out my meals, and prepping them in time for Isaiah to walk in the door.

With that being said, starting this week, I intend on leaving work earlier and actually making time for myself to cook at home. It’s important.

To help assist me of my goal, I downloaded this cookbook called “The Fresh 20: 20-Ingredient Meal Plans for Health and Happiness 5 Nights a Week”  by: Melissa Lanz on my iPad mini. The author provides healthy weekly recipes that are simple to prepare and smart in design. She says it’s about “buying less and making more” and it sounds like it’s right up my alley at this point in my life.  I think it’s right up your alley too.

Intrigued? Enter below to win the Kindle version of this cookbook now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winner will be announced next Thursday, January 9th.
Good luck!!

Andddd please check out the other bloggers who have written their own “A New Year, A New You” post:


  • […] Cooking More at Home + GIVEAWAY from I Adore What I Love […]

  • Pam Green @ My Newlywed Cooking Adventures January 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    I love everything you said here! Cooking at home really is wonderful because you know what’s going into your food and you can take pride in preparing food for yourself and your family. I also agree that cooking after working hard all day (I’m a teacher too!) and getting home late, is like the last thing you want to think about. But your GIVEAWAY download looks perfect and I also recommend Williams-Sonoma’s “One Pot” cookbook!! Everything is cooked in 1 pot/pan which makes cleaning way less too.

    • Dana Ivy January 2, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Thanks Pam!! I’m looking forward to starting back up with cooking more at home. It’s much needed in mine and my husband’s lives :) William-Sonoma’s One Pot cookbook looks awesome!! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Cassie January 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    We cook 95 percent of the time at home. Since it is just the two of us we always have leftovers which we then eat for lunch. Not only do you know what you are eating but it is much more budget friendly. But we do enjoy out occasional eating out! This book sound amazing!!

    • Dana Ivy January 2, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Such a great habit you guys have.. cooking 95% of the time at home is something most people can’t claim to do. And I’m already loving the Fresh 20!!

  • Rachel January 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    If I want to cook more at home, does it mean I have to actually start grocery shopping :) here’s to trying to cook more!

  • Katrina January 2, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I feel like my cooking at home habits are like a roller coaster. Some weeks I cook every meal I planned and than other weeks the drive thru boy at Jack in the Box is my new best friend… So I just want to be more consistent with my cooking at home. It’s important to me because just like you I love knowing what exactly I’m eating and I love cooking a healthy meal for my husband.

    • Dana Ivy January 6, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      I totally agree, Katrina! Except there are no Jack in the Box’s in Chicago… but I get your drift! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!


  • Brita January 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    I have 3 small kids so I cook a lot at home! I’m looking for more ways to enjoy this “job” and I love the “simplicity in design” comment. Looking forward to reading more!

    • Dana Ivy January 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Awww thanks Brita… so glad you’ve become an I Adore What I Love reader!! And go you for being a mom to 3 kids and finding the time to cook at home!!!

  • January 2014 Must-Dos! January 6, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    […] Sign up for the GIVEAWAY that’s currently open on my blog (until Thursday, 1/9) and win Melissa Lanz’s latest cookbook entitled “The Fresh 20: […]

  • Anke January 8, 2014 at 11:05 am

    At college, being able to cook my own food is something that I really miss since I don’t have all the stuff needed to actually make a good meal.

  • The Fresh 20 Cookbook GIVEAWAY WINNER! January 9, 2014 at 6:59 am

    […] as well, we will be cooking these meals together.  And if any of you missed it, take a look at this post, which details why I believe cooking for yourself and eating at home is SO […]

  • It’s Chicago Restaurant Week! January 28, 2014 at 1:05 am

    […] mid-February, all I want to do is make a home cooked meal for the rest of my […]

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    My Name is Dana Ivy.

    Hey hey! I’m a MOM of three, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My two crazy boys, Brody {who’s 6.5} and Levi {who’s 4.5} + their new baby sister, Demi, are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! The chaos is real and because I adore mom life SO MUCH, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?? I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... I want to help make your lives a little easier, one blog post at a time! Join me on my quest to share allll the mom tips, simple style ideas, REALLY easy recipes {if I can do it, you can do it!!}, and our travels. Read More.

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