Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yet Another Sick Day

Still not mine.

J is sick this time, but it seems like only a low grade fever (can't find the stupid thermometer) and cough.  So while she lays on the couch relaxing, here's what I plan to accomplish:
  • Laundry, laundry, and more laundry
  • 5 minutes in the LR, DR, and Kitchen
  • Rearrange the kitchen cabinets - plates and cups
  • Chop up veggies for soup
  • Cut up the chicken
  • Create world peace
  • Work on our budget (hmmm...maybe I should just stop at world peace)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Goals

I have twenty-five minutes until the kids get home.  As I finish things I will add them to this post in italics.

Here's my To Do list, which I hope will soon become my TaDa list:
  1. 5 minutes in the living room - TA DA!
  2. 5 minutes clearing off the table in the dining room - TA DA!  (though I had to keep adding minutes on to get it all done)
  3. Put away all the stuff gathered while cleaning up the above two rooms - TA DA!
And this is when the kids came home.  Now I'm sitting with them at the newly cleaned off dining room table having already "encouraged" them to bring me all their papers, put their lunch boxes in the kitchen (which I haven't tackled yet), attempting to do some of my "homework" while they do their homework.  When they finish I will tackle the rest of this list.  After I help both boys make their raingutter regata for their first Cub Scout meeting tomorrow night.  Whatever that is.
4.  Put away the veggies I just got from the CSA (and don't let them just stay out and rot like I did the last two weeks)
5. Chop up celery, onions, and carrots to put in with the chicken carcass and begin making chicken stock
Okay, I'm going to try to keep the list short so I might actually finish it.  I have LOTS more I need to do, but for the next 25 minutes, this is plenty!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Take No Prisoners Cleaning Day

Teaching at a Jewish School rocks!  My kids have school today, I have off because of Sukkot.  Yes, that's right, I have the house to myself ALL day!  This is unheard of in my life, so I have to take full advantage of it.

Here's my plan, which I am writing to keep myself accountable and focused:
  1. Dishes (The garbage disposal is not working right now, and since apparently the dishwasher is hooked up to the disposal in some way, I have to hand wash all the dishes.  Never really noticed how many dishes a family of five made until now!) Woohoo - all done!  After gathering up all the dishes from around the house, it took me a total of 12 minutes to wash them all.  It sure SEEMED like it would take a lot longer.
  2. Laundry - Fourth load folded and put away, another load in the dryer and the washer, all laundry in the house sorted.
  3. Boys' clothes - Taking a garbage bag up to their room and pulling out everything that is not their size anymore, then trying to reorganize the rest of their clothes.  Filled up second garbage bag and sorted through three large rubbermaid containers of hand-me-down clothes!
  4. Updated to add: Scrubbed a bunch of sweet potatoes I received from my CSA and put them in the oven to bake.  Yes, I actually added this item just so I could cross it out.  Deal with it!
  5. Updated to add: Discovered the dishwasher that we haven't been able to use all week had dishes and standing, disgusting water in it.  YUCK!  Cleaned out all the water.
  6. J's clothes - Same thing as with the boys' clothes.
  7. Pantry/Food cabinets - reorganize!
I have plenty more that I want to do, but I'm going to try to simply (?) focus on the above five items and see how it goes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weight Watchers

As much as I liked the simple structure of the basic diet plan I had outlined, I had no drive to follow it.  So... I signed up for Weight Watchers Online (three months for $50) with the thought that maybe paying for it will provide more incentive to actually follow it.  The basic structure does remind me of a free site that I had used for awhile (Spark People) though that tracked calories and WW tracks points.  I have a certain number of points to use each day (each food is given a point value based on calories and nutrition) but I also have a weekly allowance of 35 points that I can either dip into each day or save up for a special outing or two.  That way I never feel like I'm cheating as long as I stay within my weekly allowance. 

The other thing I like is you can earn points by doing activities.  The best part of that is all of the activities on my Wii Fit Plus that I love, like Skateboard Arena and Yoga, are all assigned a point value!  If I do fifteen minutes of Skateboard Arena (which I know is a good workout since I end up dripping from sweat) I earn one activity point.  If I choose to I can exchange the activity point for one food point.  I'm not planning to do that, but it's nice to know that option is there.

The rational, logical part of me (yes, I DO have a rational, logical side, stop laughing!) knows that this is all just a gimmick, just a trick to keep me interested and hopefully willing to stick with it longer.  But then I just say, "So what?"  I know that out of all the options out there, WW is ultimately the healthiest, teaching how to focus on appropriate portion sizes and making good choices, without designating any foods as "bad" or, even worse, "forbidden."

I am writing this at a local Starbucks, as I drink my tall soy Chai Tea Latte, no water, no foam (three points).  It's not a splurge.  I'm not cheating.  Three points out of twenty-three is manageable.  Soon I'm going to order a Chicken on Flatbread with Hummus snack plate (five points) for dinner.  And after the kids are in bed I'll probably have a bowl of cereal.  All that and I'm still okay within the confines of the WW plans. 

Now let's see if the scale starts going in the right direction. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I'm trying to figure out how to get our finances in order.  It's a sorry sight.  DH is a public school teacher.  He makes an okay amount of money, thought not enough for our whole family to live on.  I used to be a public school teacher, but now I teach preschool.  I almost love everything about teaching preschool, but the one big downside with it is my pay, which is just a fraction of what I would be getting as a public school teacher.  And here comes the summer.  So many people say, "I wish I was a teacher - don't have to work all summer!"  What they don't realize is that we don't get PAID all summer, either!!!  DH's paychecks are spread out over 12 months instead of just 10, but mine are finished soon and won't start up again until September.

DH's dad used to be career military, so we have access to USAA, a financial site for military families.  I just received a refund from our oil company (paid a budget amount all winter and was left with almost $800 that they were going to put towards next year - umm...think I could use the money now!) which will be used to pay off the credit card from USAA - woohooooo!!!  We still owe on our Discover Card AND have a line of credit from when we changed our garage into a playroom AND our mortgage.  Now I'm trying to determine if maybe we should transfer everything to USAA.  I guess I need to determine if they have the best rates around.  I THINK they do, being geared for our military, but guess I should check first.

I know, this is not an exciting post, but it's what I'm thinking about right now!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Planning

While I haven't stepped on a scale to see if this new eating plan (I can't think of it as a diet) is working yet, I'm proud that I'm sticking to it.  Just keeping in mind that I only get two carbs a day allows me to plan my meals around that, making sure I still can have my end of the day bowl of cereal.  Hey, I'm a cereal addict, what can I say?  So here's my menu plan:

Lunches for me this week Endame Salad, Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa

Monday Grilled Sesame Salmon

Tuesday - Thai Basil Chicken

Wednesday - Very Veggie Omlet
I think if I promise them toast for eating a few bites, the kids might try it and discover they like it!

Thursday - A serving of whichever of the other three meals I liked the best
Mac and Cheese for the kids with frozen fish sticks

Friday - Potluck Shabbat dinner at my synagogue
My contribution will be Sauted Green Beans.

Saturday - Mish Mash (A.K.A. Finish all the leftovers)

Sunday - Dinner at my in-laws'

Be sure to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu plans.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Menu Planning

Okay, it's not Monday, but I'm still trying to do:

Let's review last week first, okay?
Last week, I made a big batch of Quinoa Vegetable Salad for lunches, which I'm still eating a little of this week.  It was pretty good, but not great.
Tuesday I made Peanut Butter Vegetable Chicken Soup, which also was pretty good, but not great.  The kids tried it (though A spit it out), but no one really loved it.
Wednesday was Tuna Casserole - everyone but A liked it.
Thursday should have been Sour Cream Chicken Quiche, but that didn't happen.
The rest of the weekend involved no cooking on my part - woo hoo!

Now let's get back to this week.  Again I am going to try to use what I have here at home as much as possible - money's tight!
Tuesday:  Spaghetti and meatballs
Wednesday:  Sour Cream Chicken Quiche
Thursday:  Frozen Raviolis
Friday: Shabbat dinner at my parents'
Saturday: BBQ at my sister's (and boy do they know how to BBQ!)
Sunday: Dinner at my IL's

And I have everything necessary for those recipes here already.