We have recently adopted a new motto at the winery….We work like crazy so our guests can be lazy. And boy have we been crazy busy lately. Getting ready for our summer concert series, Grape Blossom Festival, Happy Hours, festivals…you name it, we have been doing it. The only problem I have found with our motto is that the new winery mascot, Bo, has decided that he must be a guest and is taking the lazy part way out of hand. I thought we would do a cool cameo on a day in the life of Bo, but check out the video to see all we got! Until next time….we hope your days are more lazy than crazy this summer.
This is my second week following the Glamour Exactly What to Eat to Lose Weight meal plan. (See my first week here.) So far, it’s gone pretty well, with the exception of Mother’s day when I indulged more than I should have. I haven’t hopped on the scale yet to see if it’s working, but I feel better. Right now, I don’t have a refrigerator in my office, so I’m heading out each morning with a cooler packed with my lunch. The new fridge should be here this week, so I’m looking forward to not having to pack it all in a big bulky cooler.
As you can see, the week is not complete, but I will be updating as Glamour releases the future days to me. Continue reading →
I subtitled this A New Beginning because I am embarking on a new career journey today, and also a new path for eating. Out of Time Dad continues his remarkable dieting success, though we don’t have the exact amount lost until he goes to his doctor, we do know that he’s lost well over 60 lbs. since the end of January. I knew that the time would come that I had to jump on board with losing weight, but it didn’t seem the right time. I just wasn’t ready. I’m ready now.
Here’s a few reasons why my time is now. I bought new clothes for my new job, and had to face the fact that I needed a larger size. My usual size bra is too snug and my fat is squishing around the edges. I don’t have any full length mirrors in my house, but when I went to visit my mom, I took a serious look. It was not pretty by any means. The final reason is the new job. With the new job, I will be working mostly alone in my office or out in the field. There won’t be the opportunity to be convinced by well meaning coworkers to splurge or ignore the lunch I packed and join in on a take out lunch. I will miss my coworkers terribly, but I won’t miss how easily I was swayed to pick up meat and cheese subs or chinese food that I always regretted eating immediately after.
Out of Time Dad thinks this is a bad time to start this. I am an emotional eater, and the stress of a new job will be hard for me. I feel like I can’t not do it now. I need to set the pattern right off, that I will be in control of my eating at home and at work. He also worries when I go off on a diet, because it ends up costing us a fortune in all new groceries. I concede his point. It is very expensive to eat healthy, unless you eat just fruit, bananas, yogurt, and protein powder smoothies like he’s done. (I buy about 12lbs of bananas a week. BJs must think I’m hiding a gorilla at my house!) It’s also very expensive to have frequent trips to the doctor, have painful knee joints and back pain, and eat out meal after meal. So I’m going to change my diet, and still try to be mindful of the costs.
Out of Time Teen reminded me a few years ago that we’d had a lot of success with the diet that I’d found on glamour.com. Exactly What to Eat to Lose Weight. I had copied it and saved it on my computer, and even printed out index cards to use as a guide. I was missing a couple of days so I went back to the website, and it looks like they have updated it this year. I immediately jumped on board for the new diet. I went to the store, spent a ton of money, but I have everything I need for the first week of the diet. However, I don’t have the menu for every day. They dole it out one day at a time. I signed up on Friday, so I only have 4 days worth of the menu, but as I followed the shopping list, I have all the items to make the full weeks meals (Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) with some substitutions for expensive items and will repeat eating some of the fruits as I couldn’t bear to pay for foods that I couldn’t get on sale or the meats that are more expensive. I’m flexible enough to improvise. I actually started the menu plan on Saturday. So I’m starting my menu from Saturday, and will add to it as I find out what’s in store for the week ahead. I will be posting my improvisations from the glamour menu.
So without further adieu, here is my weekly menu plan.
Special thanks to Laura at Orgjunkie.com for providing this link up. You can find more meal plans here.
Steel-cut oatmeal with apple, flax seed
2 scrambled egg whites
This thoughtful poem by Single Dad Laughing touched me this afternoon so I’m sharing it with you. I had a snippy morning with Out of Time Toddler and her 2 year oldishness. Sometimes I feel like it’s a constant battle with her independent spirit, but it’s one of the things I love best about her. It wore on me this morning in my sleepy condition and I snapped at her impatiently, that ugly part of me that wanted to crush her stubbornness to just get her to do what I wanted, when I wanted. Tonight, I will be extra tender and patient with her. Mommy’s sorry, kiddo.
If you are not watching this show, it’s not too late to catch up on abc.com. I was watching it last night in bed while battling some insomnia and had some full out belly laughing. Maybe I was giddy and over tired, but that was so funny, I could barely keep the laughter to a quiet-middle-of-the-night level. You can find the pilot episode here.
This week, I may be working late as I have files that I want to get in tiptop shape before I leave my current job, so I needed to make sure I had easy meals that Out of Time Dad could easily prepare so if I’m late so it won’t be a mad rush to get supper on the table. Speaking of Out of Time Dad, he continues to eat healthy and should also be in tiptop shape when he goes back to the doctor next week. He’s done amazing and is really inspiring me to work on my healthy eating. We still have a lot of “naughty” food in the freezer that my frugal side won’t let me toss, so once those foods are gone, I’ll start on the healthy eating as well.
I’m not going to have to pick up much from the store this week, as I have a lot of things on this weeks plan that are in the freezer already. (Chicken, beef, galumkis, frozen veggies, fruit for smoothies, chicken tenders, and pita pizzas) I’m looking forward to not dropping a ton of money this week and reaping the benefits of bulk purchasing during stock up sales. I’ll purchase the things I need that are fresh (milk, veggies, turkey, and bread) and I should be able to keep this weeks groceries under $35. Woohoo!
So here is this weeks menu. Special thinks to Orgjunkie.com for the Menu Plan Monday link up. You can find other great menu plans here.
Cereal with milk, fruit of choice
Turkey Sandwich, yogurt, and salad
Grilled Chicken, broccoli, and sweet potato
cut up veggies
Toast with peanut butter, milk or yogurt, choice of fruit
There are big changes going on in my life, and I’ve abandoned this blog for a ridiculously long time. The big news is: I got a new job! I’ll be working with a network of family child care providers as Program Coordinator (or some such title, I’m not sure). I’ll be in charge of the network in my county which stretches from Vermont to Connecticut. Family Child Care, particularly in a childcare system, has a special place in my heart as it’s the best of both worlds. It has the warmth and nurturing of a home mixed with the educational provisions of a Child Care Center. There is oversight, and I will be visiting providers to observe the care the children are receiving. It’s a bonus to the Family Child Care providers as I will be making sure their paperwork is in order and they receive the trainings they need to keep up with their licenses. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a win-win-win situation for the providers, the children, and me! It will be great to be able to interact with the kiddos, and look forward to organizing fun and educational field trips.
As thrilled as I am, I am also anxious about starting a new job. It’s hard to leave the familiar, even if it’s not a job I love. I will miss my co-workers who are the key to how I was able to manage the work. They’ve become like family to me, and I’ll miss them so much! It’s also difficult to adjust to new responsibilities in a new job. There is a lot of uncertainty with new starts. What if I don’t like the people I work with? What if the job is a lot tougher than I thought? All those fears are bubbling around in my mind. I’m sure it will be fine, but I can’t help but have those thoughts. I’m going to try to keep the outside stress to a minimum, and maybe add some wine to the equation.
Anyway, I may not be updating and interacting with you dear readers as often as I would like until I get settled in my new routine. Wish me luck on my new adventure!
I received a free promotional copy of the book “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget” to review on my site. I have been a huge fan of her blog, Money Saving Mom, and I was eager to pick up more tips for managing my budget. After all, she was the one who inspired me to use coupons and manage my spending at both the grocery store and the pharmacy. I saved a lot of money using her advice on how to use coupons, and also the coupon match-ups that she provides through her site. I have enough toothpaste for a year stockpiled away, along with many other health and beauty supplies that I scored for free or nearly free because of her. When I heard she had a book on budgeting, I eagerly signed up to receive a copy to review on my site. I was thrilled when I was selected to receive it!
I got the audio copy of the book, along with PDFs of the visuals in the books. As I was taking a train trip with Out of Time Toddler, I downloaded the audio onto my phone for listening while on the train. If you are familiar with that trip at all, you know that didn’t happen. I did listen at nights when I was going to sleep, but Crystal’s voice was so soothing, I quickly fell asleep and would have to start the chapters over again. It’s not reflective of her book, just my exhaustion and her soothing voice. She must have the most rested children ever!
Once I was finally able to stay awake and really listen to the book, I was impressed with her frugal life story. She and her husband were able to save the money to be able to buy their first house in CASH! That’s quite impressive. She and her husband have always lived a frugal lifestyle, which, is also impressive, but it made me feel like maybe she didn’t know where the rest of us are coming from. I have been swamped in debt, over-extended, and under funded. I have almost lost a house to foreclosure, lost a house to divorce, and *gulp* even had my car repossessed. I’m not sure she understands how those things happen and how you pull yourself out of that mess. It may be that I wanted more from the book than she is able to give because of that.
Becoming fiscally responsible after living your life in a more extravagant way is challenging. There are so many ways that we define ourselves by our belongings and financial status. There is such an emotional component to money. When you don’t have money and are buried in debt, it seems like you’ll never be able to get your head above water. While Crystal has a fascinating story of her newlywed life while her husband was going to law school, and how they were able to live on a minimal amount of money, I felt a little resentful that her husband was even going to law school. When you have debt, it’s hard to see your way out of the tunnel when there is no light shining at the other end. They had a means to an end. Often that’s not the case for many people, it seems as though you’re never going to get to a financially secure place in life. I would have felt a little more inspired if she knew what it was like.
That being said, the book offered a lot of tips that would be really beneficial to people who are new to living a more frugal lifestyle. The book gives you ways to set financial goals, and how to break them down into manageable pieces. She also gives tips on how to make an extra $100 per month, and also how to trim down your clutter and make money at the same time. I was inspired by her tag sale stories, and am looking forward to pulling one together this spring! I have a ton of baby stuff I need to shed before we move!
Overall, I think Money Saving Mom’s Budget is a great book for those first starting down the frugal path. It is well worth the money in the savings you’ll pick up from using her helpful tips. However, for more advanced Recessionistas, you probably know this information already, and can go back to enjoying her website, with your pennies pinched firmly in hand.
As part of her book tour, Crystal is celebrating by giving away an ipad 2. Check out the button on the sidebar for more information! Good luck!
I had to do some improvisation on last week’s menu. Often, things pop up that you need to be flexible enough to handle. Time is not a friend of that meat in your refrigerator. Over the weekend, I completely went off the plan, and spent the rest of the weekend catching up or *gasp* eating out! Friday, we had a staff lunch and I left with a ton of salad. Toddler and I feasted on salads and we pulled a couple of pot pies from the freezer to go with them. (I also didn’t make the muffin batter! Eggs to the rescue!) That trickled over to not having leftovers for Saturday’s fajita salads. I improvised with some PB&J sandwiches. Saturday after Out of Time Dad went to work, Out of Time Toddler and I went shopping. We had 3 different stores to hit, and after the first, OoTToddler was struggling. We grabbed some burgers and fries from fast food and finished our weekly shopping. Which led to not having pizza leftovers for Sunday’s lunch. I made the pizza for lunch while an angry (and hungry!) OoTToddler stood at the gate demanding lunch. We went out for dinner Sunday evening, and even OoTDad overindulged.
Out of Time Dad continues to amaze me with the control he’s taken over his diet. He’s cut most of the sodium out of his diet, and in the process has lost a ton of weight. He’s surviving mostly on smoothies like the one listed below, and eats a sensible dinner with the family. With the incredible amount of weight that he’s lost, I suspect there’s some sort of voodoo or magic that he just won’t share with me. He made up his mind to follow doctor’s orders, and he’s stuck with it. His willpower is astonishing!
Since he works nights Thursday-Saturday, we usually eat less healthfully then. I have a ton of not so healthy food in the freezer that the kid and I are eating on the nights he’s not here. For Easter, we’re all splurging and eating ham, macaroni and cheese, and delicious Easter bunny cupcakes. One concession we’re making to eating healthfully that day is fresh green beans. I won’t even cook them with bacon! (Drat!)]
Special thanks to Orgjunkie.com for her Menu Plan Monday linkup, be sure to check out this week’s menus here.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday. See you next Monday!
Cereal with Milk and choice of fruit
Egg Salad sandwich with cut up veggies and dip
Cheese Toast with choice of fruit, and milk
Shepard’s Pie leftovers
Shrimp and Snap Pea Stirfry with Rice (low sodium sauce)
Smoothies to go with silken tofu, protein powder, and choice of fruit
How is everyone this Monday? Did you have a good weekend?
This weekend for us was a pretty relaxing one. My dad left for business so my mom made him some delicious food, which we benefited from. 🙂 The weather was also cooperating, so I managed to fit in two jogs and a hike. The only chore we had to do was our weekly grocery shopping. Normally, we are pretty good about planning our meals for the week. I even have a grocery list app on my phone to keep track of the ingredients I need. But lately, we’ve been too lazy busy to plan ahead. So after our hike, we found ourselves wondering around aimlessly at the grocery store trying to figure out what to make for dinner this week. In these situations, we cruise the meat section for inspiration and the weekly specials and then rack our…