You want me to do what?

Menu planning

(Image source: Homemakers Daily)

I just want to say a heart felt thank you to everyone that took the time to write me or to leave a comment about what menu planning route I should take. You are all so brilliant, resourceful, and just plain generous.

The consensus was for menu planning by theme (A.K.A Option 1), with a bit of just sit your ass down and do it (A.K.A. Option 3) thrown in for good measure.

And you know what? You’re absolutely right.

Something that makes my life easier, reduces the stress in our house greatly, and helps all of us feel better day in and day out is always worth the time necessary to do it.

I also need to remind myself that I don’t have to use every. single. nap. for work. Taking care of myself should be a top priority as well. And this, friends, is taking care of myself. And The Babe. And The Hubster.

And that makes it worthwhile every single week.

THE WEEKLY THEMES

I love love love the template I shared last week from Emily Marko, but know that our style of eating is a lot different than hers.

I’m thinking that I’m going to stick with the themes mentioned last week:

  • Mondays: Pasta
  • Tuesdays: Burgers
  • Wednesdays: Freezer Finds
  • Thursdays: Asian-inspired
  • Fridays: Finger Foods
  • Saturdays: Vegetarian
  • Sundays: Fridge Clean-out

I think this will help to keep us organized, to cut down on time spent searching for meals, and also give us each enough variety and flexibility that we’ll actually be looking forward dinner time.

Wish me luck! We’ll be testing it out this week.

X+O

Project: Food Budget – Week 2

Project: Food Budget

Goal: $100/week
Actual: $63.12 (Trader Joe’s) PLUS another $62.17 (Trader Joe’s) for a total of $125.29

I know it looks like I was way under budget this week. But that shopping trip to Trader Joe’s was a “quick stop to pick up the missing items from our shopping list” trip. I also got $3.99 off because we returned some cookies from the last trip (the plastic seal was missing…).

The good news is, I still have $36.88 to work with this week to stay in the clear. The bad news? I have no menu plan for the week, and already know we need to go back to the store for some fruit, eggs, and bread.

I may try and make the bread here, because homemade bread is easy and delicious. It’s also time consuming (hence why I simply buy it instead) and I don’t want to be tied to the house for 2 hours while it rises, rests, and bakes.

Other than that, I’ve been scouring Pinterest for new recipes and ideas for what to make in our new grill. So far, hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob are the only things that come to mind.

EDIT: I ended up heading to Trader Joe’s after I posted about this and ended up spending another $62.17. I’m also beginning to realize that our grocery trips are only getting us through about 4-5 days and after that we’re running on fumes. We are completely out of eggs, bread, and all fruit.

I want to keep an eye on this, but may need to up our spending or rethink how I’m planning my weeks…

WEEK 2

Biggest splurge this week:
TJ’s Fat Free Sesame Dressing for an impromptu Asian Pasta Salad. Damn you Trader Joe’s for sampling some seriously delicious food that The Babe was all about. Good thing our splurge was only $1.99.

Proudest moment:
Realizing that I still have $36.88 to work with this week and stay in/under budget. I seriously have been beating myself up for already having to go back to the store for more food. Dear self, take it easy. We have room in the budget.

Goal for next week:
To have an actual menu plan put together before I head out to the store. The whole not-having-a-plan thing is way more stressful to me than going over on the food budget. And yet, I still ignore it or tell myself I’ll figure it out on the fly. I never do. And it’s draining my mojo.

THIS WEEK’S MENU

Some potential extra yummies for The Babe:

PARTICIPATING BLOGS:

That’s it for me. Make sure to check out my fabulous blogging buddies going on this budgeting journey with me, including:

It all comes back to the plan…

Irony(Image via)

Want to hear a funny story?

Last week I did two different visibility challenges. One through Amira Alvarez and another that we created through Propelle. They were both great—challenging me to stretch and put myself out there more.

With all that focus on being more visible and putting myself out there, I totally forgot to share about my presentation at the local Farm to Table conference this weekend.

#visbilityFAIL

SO. This is me remedying that epic oversight.

I’ll be speaking on Saturday, March 28th at 1:30PM on the topic of menu planning, and how it can help to create a safer, healthier dinner routine.

Which, irony of ironies, is a topic I need to listen to myself.

For the past month we’ve been subsisting on a lot of freezer meals (and not the healthy, well thought out kind either). It’s gotten to the point where The Hubster has asked if there is such a thing as too many (nitrate free) hot dogs.

Based on my father and nephew’s propensity for salami and “tube steaks” and the feedback I’ve gotten from every single mother I’ve polled on the topic, I’m going with … no.

The Babe would also likely say no, as hot dogs (and chicken sausage) are pretty much her favorite food on the planet. So, she’s really not complaining at all. In fact, if she had her druthers, she’d eat them all day everyday.

It just feels like I should be doing so much better in this department.

Because health coach.

And then, serendipitously, I had a glorious three hours to myself (a very rare occurrence) on Saturday afternoon and managed to put a pretty decent menu plan together for us.

Sweet jeebus, has this made all of the difference in the world.

We are eating better. I’m feeling better. And The Babe is eating something besides hot dogs, which makes me feel a hell of a lot less guilty (I know, I know. It was banished.).

Of course, I’m certain that this all came up because I simply needed a reminder as to why menu planning is so helpful, with or without dietary restrictions.

Dammit Universe. Aren’t there better (i.e.—less stressful) ways for me to have figured that out?

The answer to that? A resounding no.

I clearly don’t pay attention until it’s dire most times.

Lesson learned.

PS—Stay tuned for a fun giveaway for tickets to the Friday Night Tasting of the Farm to Table Conference. Details will be posted tomorrow.

Banishing guilt.

"Guilt is to the spirit what pain is to the body." Elder David A Bednar(Image via)

When I thought about my goal for last week of identifying the kind of things that I enjoy or don’t enjoy, I imagined myself putting together a pretty (and organized) little list with one column for “enjoy” and the other column for “don’t enjoy”.

BWAHAHAHAHA.

The Big U clearly had other plans for me. And it came in the form of a 7-Day Visibility Challenge through Propelle. Yesterday was Day 3 and all about sharing what you are currently struggling with.

My biggest struggle as of late: GUILT.

I feel guilty about everything. Guilty for not spending all of my time with The Babe. Guilty for not spending more time on my business, blog, or work with Propelle. Guilty for wanting a break. Guilty for taking time for myself. Guilty for not eating better. Guilty for getting angry because I’m exhausted. Guilty for “wasting” a nap and not being productive. Guilty for wanting time away from The Babe when I worked so goddamn hard to bring her into this world. Guilty for being her most favorite person on the planet.

I feel guilty for saying no.

I feel guilty for saying yes.

I feel guilty for changing my mind.

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

And that’s when it hit me.

All of this guilt is robbing me of joy in my life.

When I wrote about my struggle on a post in our Rock It! community, I finally saw it.

And then I got angry and annoyed with myself for the very words that I was writing. If a client had said those things to me, I would have lovingly (and firmly) told her to snap out of it.

So now I’m telling myself those exact words.

Eff the guilt. It’s poisonous and self-defeating. It makes you think it’s guiding you in the right direction and then BAM. It robs you of all the fun in life.

It’s a horrible way to live.

And it’s a horrible example to teach my gorgeous, smart, and observant daughter.

I am making a commitment to myself to banish the guilt.

It is no longer welcome in my life or in my home. It’s time to let go of that shit and start taking back the joy. It’s blocking me from really taking my life and work to the next level. It’s tainting every single one of my relationships. And it’s just plain gotten old.

I’m ready.

Are you?

 

© Copyright Emily Levenson Emily Levenson - Theme by Pexeto