Monthly Archives: June 2010

D Day

Well, the day has come. I’ve been completely freaking myself out to the point that I’ve been having crying fits and breaking out in hives for the past 2 days. Today … I’m ready to face this head on. Game on Gallbladder! See you on the flip side.

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Filed under Medical Issues

Just Relax

Its Sunday night and this week I’ve been very stressed, I’m ready to relax.

This week I have:

Worked three 12 hour shifts.
Ran 22 miles.
Spent 1 1/2 hours on the elliptical.
Cooked approximately 16 meals.
And spent way too many hours worrying about my upcoming surgery.

While the hubby and toddler were taking a nap today I decided to hit the gym. I can never decide when I get to the gym if I want to run or do the elliptical, I love them both so much for different reasons. With my exercise time coming to a pause very soon, today the choice was obvious … RUN!

I intended to do 5 moderately easy miles at about an 8:20 pace or so.

I ended up doing 6 strenuous miles at a 7:49 pace! Go me!

I kept thinking that this could be my last run before my surgery on Wednesday. I felt fast and I felt strong. Who knows when I’ll be able to say that again. This run was one last “F*ck You” to my gallbladder!

Dinner tonight was simple but delicious.

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Easy Vegetarian Pasta.

Pasta. Veggies. Balsamic Vinegar. Perfect!

Unfortunately I forgot that I had bought Feta cheese specifically for this meal and I ended up using it all throughout the week in random dishes. Doh.

After dinner I decided to do a little Candlelight Yoga to stretch, relax and breathe.

I’m about as flexible as a log, but I try.

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Apparently kitties like yoga too.

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The tree pose and the downward facing dog are two of my favorite poses.

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Dessert was a big bowl of watermelon.

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I’m still not feeling quite satisfied, there will most likely be some more snacking in my not-so-distant future. I wish I had an ice cold beer but round out this relaxing evening, but alas … it is not in the budget.

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Filed under Food, pictures, Yoga

Cheap Eats and Cloth Diapers

On the back of yesterdays conversation about saving money, I’ve been brainstorming and researching more ideas on ways that I could spend less and save more. Sure I could eat PB&J for every meal, but there are a few things that I refuse to sacrifice.

I won’t sacrifice my family’s health, nutrition, or sanity to save money. I would be fine completely turning off our cable, knocking our phone service down to the most basic plan, cancelling our Netflix, eating all meals at home, etc. But doing those things would drive the hubby insane, and he would definitely resent it.

What I want to accomplish is minimizing the money we spend on a daily basis without obvious changes in our lifestyle.

I ran across this Lentil Soup “eat for cheap” recipe today and decided to make up a batch since I had all of the ingredients on hand.

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That’s four servings of soup for about $1.00 a serving. Add a homemade baguette and it makes for a really cheap meal. These are the kinds of things I’m looking for!

Potatoes are cheap too. Today I baked a potato and topped it with some random ingredients that need to be used up before they pass their prime. You can pretty much add anything to a potato and it always turns out yummy.

Today I started out with my normal: roasted broccoli, onions and a little shredded cheese.

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I found some leftover vegetable soup in the refrigerator that I had almost forgotten about and decided to add it to the mix with a little more shredded cheese and sour cream to top it off.

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It turned out amazing! Potatoes are a great way to use up random produce and therefore cut down on waste.

It felt like Christmas today when the hubby brought home this package from our storage unit:

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I went a little crazy buying cloth diapers when Lincoln was a little baby. I probably ended up spending much more on these than I would have buy buying disposable diapers, but the value in cloth diapers is in their ability to be used again and again as well as their environmental aspects.

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My stash includes about 30 diapers in a variety of styles, sizes and colors as well as about 20 hemp inserts.

I just so happened to remember that I had purchased some One Size diapers that are suppose to grow with your child from infancy to potty training.

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I found 8 that still fit!! (He’s wearing one of them now). Score!

I did some calculations yesterday and discovered that diapers cost about $.22 – $.27 each. I estimate that we use approximately 4-6 a day. I can save about $38 a month just buy switching back to my cloth diapers.

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He doesn’t seem to mind!

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Filed under Food, Frugality, pictures

What do you get when you mix …

Leftover yellow rice + leftover falafel + broccoli that needs to be used up + hummus + tzatziki?

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You get one crazy mixed up lunch.

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The point of today’s lunch was to use up some ingredients that have been sitting around for a while. In fact, this is going to be the theme for a while to come. Frugality my friend! That’s right, I’m resurrecting that girl who coupon shops, searches out the best deals, and doesn’t spend a dime that isn’t necessary.

I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking of ways that I can save money and maximize the money that I am spending.

Some of the biggest expenses in my life are food and entertainment. Those are also the 2 places I feel that I can save the most money.

Some of the things that I came up with are:

  1. Drink less alcohol – lets face it, beer and wine aren’t cheap.
  2. Spend less – It might sound obvious, but my goal is to seriously consider everything I purchase. No more shopping for entertainment!
  3. Plans meals ahead of time – I spend much less money when I make out a weekly meal plan, buy only the items I need to make those meals and stick to it. Bonus points for planning meals around weekly sale items and ingredients already on hand.
  4. Use coupons – In the past I’ve been able to save tons by using coupons for items already on sale. This works especially well when purchasing things that are non-perishable. I haven’t bought laundry detergent in probably 6 months because I majorly stocked up when I found some great deals a while back. The problem with couponing is learning to not allow your coupons to influence what you would buy. There is a whole art to “couponing”. Learn more here.
  5. Research other ways to save money – there are tons of websites and other resources out there to learn the art of saving. I plan on exploring these and applying them.
  6. Find free entertainment – Playgrounds, libraries, parks, museums … there are so many free or cheap forms of entertainment available. I plan on trading in my Saturday shopping excursions for some of these more bank account friendly alternatives.
  7. Eat out less – Once a week limit. I don’t want to completely nix eating out, my family enjoys it very much but we don’t need to enjoy it 3 times a week. I have been very good recently about packing my food for work instead of ordering out, I plan to continue that.
  8. Buy in bulk – Costco! It tends to be much cheaper to buy items in bulk when possible. Sometimes this can get tricky though, its a good idea to bring a calculator along to make sure you are getting a deal. I like to compare prices by unit, ounce, etc … whatever the case may be to make sure I’m getting the best deal. Sometimes things that appear cheaper aren’t always.2010-06-26 15.12.16
    Notice the unit price? Its always a good idea to compare the unit price to make sure what appears to be a good deal truly is. If the unit price isn’t listed like in the picture, its easy enough to figure out. Divide the price of the item by the unit of measurement (in this case ounces). $1.46/50 oz = $0.0292 per ounce.

    I actually found today that Palmolive dish detergent was cheaper than Great Value (Walmart brand) by doing the math.

  9. Buy only enough produce to use before it goes bad – One problem I often have is throwing away expensive produce because it sat around too long. Planning meals ahead of time will help with this, but its a good idea to only buy enough free fruits and vegetables to last about 3-5 days.

I’m sure there are many many other ways to save money, but these are some of the first things that came to mind today that I plan on implementing.

I’m even considering doing an experiment in the future called “Can I Be a Stay at Home Mom” in which I plan on putting all my earnings aside and living only off my husband’s income. I haven’t worked out all the details of how I will do this, or even if it is feasible, but its a dream of mine to be able to raise my children at home.

I put some of my new ideas to the test tonight for dinner. I made homemade pizza dough in the bread machine this morning to save money on buying pizza dough, and it turned out great. It was also a good opportunity to use up some produce before it was past its prime.

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My portion:

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I made an arugula salad on the side.

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What are some of the ways you save money?

 

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Filed under Food, Frugality, pictures, Shopping

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

Don’t say anything at all.

Unfortunately that has been my blogging motto for the past week or so. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I’ve been pretty anxious and depressed lately about my upcoming surgery and I honestly haven’t felt up to blogging. Until Wednesday I’m going to attempt to make my life as normal as possible and heed my husbands advice that worrying doesn’t accomplish anything, it only makes you feel bad.

With that being said … There have been a few positive things that have happened lately. I had a great 6.5 mile treadmill run yesterday at the YMCA. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Unfortunately these miles are what I would normally consider “trash mileage”. They didn’t serve any purpose in increasing my stamina or speed. It wasn’t a tempo run, or a hill work run … it was a mental health run. My 2 previous runs before yesterday were suppose to be 5-milers and I wasn’t able to complete either one of them. The first one I could only force myself to do 3.25 miles and the 2nd one I could only accomplish 4. After a couple bad runs in a row I always tend to beat myself up mentally … why can’t I do it? am I physically weak … or mentally weak? Sometimes I just need a good run like yesterday’s to remind myself that I am neither and put everything back in perspective and clear my mind.

We headed out to Mellow Mushroom last night for dinner with a huge group of friends to celebrate my friend Niki’s birthday. It was a nice relaxing dinner with great friends. I had a 3/4 of a small Mega-Veggie pizza and a few too many Blue Moons. My fave!

Unfortunately the night ended with me being pooped on by a Guinea Pig named Gunther. Random .. I know.

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The plans for today include a lot of relaxing! But I started my day off right with homemade whole wheat blueberry pancakes … or more accurately hockey pucks.

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That’s what you get when you run out of milk and try to make pancakes. They were still pretty tasty though!

Now I’ve got homemade pizza dough whirling away in the bread machine for dinner tonight.

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Just call me Betty Crocker!

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ER Follow-Up

I went to the doctor today for my follow-up appointment after my ER visit last week.

The verdict is surgery. I will say RIP to my gallbladder next Wednesday, June 30th.

No work for atleast 2 weeks, maybe more. No picking up my son. No exercise for 6 weeks. I’m devastated.

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Father’s Day Eggs Benny

I got tasked with cooking Father’s Day brunch today. The Hubby requested Eggs Benedict. I’ve always loved Eggs Benedict but it just isn’t the same without the Canadian bacon. I’ve also been trying to be more conscious of my fat intake after being diagnosed with gallstones to hopefully avoid another attack. As much as I love Hollandaise sauce, its pretty much straight fat with all the butter and eggs.

I researched some new ways to make Eggs Benedict vegetarian style and what I finally decided on was this recipe.

Basically you top toasted english muffins with thick slices of roasted eggplant, tomato, a poached egg and a little pesto. I love pesto, but I would never think to eat it on eggs. It definitely works though!

I didn’t make homemade pesto since I already had some store bought pesto that I picked up at Costco. That definitely cut down on time. I figured although the oil in the pesto contains fat that it would be healthier fat than the butter + eggs in Hollandaise. I served it with the perfect brunch drink … Mimosas. 🙂

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Isn’t that pretty?

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You should definitely give this special breakfast a try if you are a fan of the Egg Benny.

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Daddy’s out there!

Thank you Tim for being the best father to our son that I could ever ask for. You are amazing!

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Filed under Food, pictures, Recipes, Special Occasions