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Menu Plan Monday

March 29, 2010

We have decided recently to start taking measures to make our lives healthier. I’m trying some new recipes this week (without meat!) that we could start incorporating as healthier substitutes to what we usually eat. The menu is shorter this week because on Friday, we are taking off to Texas so Katie can meet our family!

#1: Chile Cornmeal Crusted Catfish, Coleslaw (are there enough Cs in this meal?)

#2: Chicken Breast, Green Beans

#3: Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, Feta, and Kalamata Olives, Green Salad

#4: Omelets with Sundried Tomatoes, Spinach, Red Bell Pepper, and Parmesan

#5: Chinese Takeout!

Want free food? Just lose a little self-respect!

March 23, 2010

CNN.com had an interesting “article” (I use that term very loosely today) today about ways to score free food. It starts with the ways that several chain restaurants have enticed customers with days of offering free food, whether it be scoring a pastry with the purchase of a drink (Starbucks) or just being lucky enough to get a free ice cream cone (Ben & Jerry’s–Yum!).

The article, however, takes a particularly amusing turn when the author decides to list ways to obtain free food on a daily basis. I will admit that I have done a couple of these tasks to get a free lunch or dinner (hello, Costco!), but a couple of the ideas had me saying, “Huh?” and shaking my head.

First of all, the author, Sarah LeTrent, encourages dumpster diving! What? Yep, you heard me right. Ms. LeTrent actually infers that if you want to save money, hit up the dumpsters behind grocery stores and bakeries, and therein might lie a treasure (albeit, a stinky treasure that is crawling with who knows how many types of bacteria and grossness) for your tastebuds. You know, I think I just really may value my health over trying to save $2-3 for a fresh loaf of bread (not to mention that dumpster diving is actually illegal in some areas).

Ms. LeTrent also states, “If you’re willing to risk the embarrassment of tone-deaf employees droning the traditional song, many restaurants will spot at least one free, candle-adorned dessert in celebration of your very merry unbirthday.” Alright then. Who’s heard of theft? The word theft might sound extreme in this instance, but let’s think about it for a minute. If you don’t patronize that particular establishment very often, you might be able to get away with having a dessert on your birthday and a dessert on your “unbirthday.” Well, on your unbirthday, you just stole maybe $3-4 worth of dessert from the restaurant. It may not seem like a huge deal in the grand scheme of things (especially, since some restaurants do make a ton of money each year), but ethically, it’s still wrong. I don’t know about you, but I think my guilty conscience would take over for quite some time after I tried to have an “unbirthday” dessert. Maybe Ms. LeTrent doesn’t have a conscience (nah, just kidding about that one–but you have to wonder since she did write this article).

I suppose this article just rubbed me the wrong way this morning. After all, we by no means are anywhere near rich. We are trying to save money so we can attempt to pay off our debts more quickly. But, we are going about it the more honest way–using coupons, shopping the sales, cutting out some of our wants and focusing on our needs, etc. I’m not sure that this blog post will make a huge difference to anyone, but I encourage you to be honest and trustworthy, especially on the day when you’re just trying to eke by. You WILL reap what you sow!

Whoo!!

March 3, 2010

::swipes forehead with back of hand::

Is it really March already?!? The past few months have gone by so quickly… I went back to work in mid-January, and I really adore playing with Katie. She is definitely getting more interesting (and more interested in things) by the day. She smiles a lot, and makes adorable coos.

All in all, she’s a pretty happy baby–except for when she’s tired. LOL. She’s a big screamer when she’s tired, and that can make us all grumpy after about 30 minutes. We’re getting better at soothing her to sleep though. It’s just a matter of figuring out what position she wants to be in.

Today, I’m thankful for:

  • a truly wonderful family
  • Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover
  • knowing how to roast a chicken
  • a washer and dryer IN our apartment
  • finally getting organized in this apartment (after being here 8 months!)

Menu Plan Monday

February 14, 2010

After a long hiatus, I hope to be coming back (if not at least to give ideas for menu planning)! I had my daughter Katie just over two months ago, and now more than ever we’re trying to save money! Menu planning is definitely helping us with that.

1: One Pot Mac & Cheese, Green Salad

2: Tuna Melts, Chips

3: Taco Soup

4: Raspberry Dump Chicken, Green Beans

5: Garlic Butter Shrimp, Orzo Salad with Parsley and Grape Tomatoes

6: Pizza Pretzels with Marinara, Green Salad

7: Beef Enchiladas, Refried Beans, Chips & Guacamole

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Find more fascinating menus at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

What I was doing a week ago…

December 20, 2009

I was having a baby! My Katie (short for Katherine Anne) was born last Sunday at 3 in the morning. My water broke around 11:15 Saturday night, and contractions started shortly thereafter. They were immediately 3 minutes apart. We packed up the rest of our bags and headed to the hospital, hoping that the ice would stay away until we got there. It did! We checked in with the ER triage nurse who sent us straight upstairs to get situated.

By that time (keep in mind that it takes 15-20 minutes to get to the hospital), contractions were 2 minutes apart and becoming intense very quickly. I got frustrated the first time the nurse checked me because I was only 2.5cm. Well that didn’t last long. Within an hour and a half, I was close to fully dilated (can’t remember exactly how much) and decided to get an epidural only because the pain was so intense that I wasn’t sure I could concentrate on pushing. They pushed 3 liters of fluid through me, and the anesthesiologist gave me a big old shot in my back.

About 15 minutes later, the doctor told me I could practice pushing if I wanted because I was ready to go! I did about 3 practice pushes when the nurse checked me and told me I had to stop because the baby was showing. They called the doctor, and we got down to business! 45 minutes of pushing later, Katherine Anne was born. She weighed 7lb. 8oz. and was 20″ long. I came out with only minor tearing both at the perineum and the urethra, so I’m nursing those as carefully as possible.

We went home on Tuesday after finding out Katie had jaundice (not uncommon in breastfed babies). We have had pediatrician appointments all week to check her bilirubin levels. They went down over Wednesday night, but shot back up after a rough night on Thursday when Katie just did not want anything to do with her bilibed (type of phototherapy used for jaundiced babies).

Yesterday, we were stuck inside all day while a snowstorm dropped 2 feet of snow on us. It’s the biggest snow since 1996–I think that’s what they said anyway. So we have been watching movies with Katie bundled up on bilibed on the couch. It’s been a little rough not getting to cuddle with her as much as I want to, but I know it’s the best for her and we are doing the right thing. Hopefully we’ll have some good news at her 1-week checkup tomorrow 🙂

And, well, Phil is an amazing dad so far! He was a little shy with her at first, which is understandable considering he had never really been around a baby that young before. He is great at comforting her when she is upset, and if I need some sleep in the middle of the night, he’ll stay up with her as long as he needs to so that I can get some uninterrupted rest. He has successfully changed a few diapers and done some of the supplementary feeding (we are feeding her with a syringe or a medicine cup to help get her suck reflex going). I just can’t wait to see what their relationship has in store!

Winter Wonderland

December 5, 2009

We had our first snow of the winter season today! It started snowing at around 6 AM this morning and by 8:30, we had a solid 2 inches on the ground. It’s just now starting to taper off. I had wanted to go to Target to pick up a few things for Katie’s impending arrival, just so we would have a few things that we really needed before she gets here–like crib sheets and the like.

Today, I’m thankful for:

  • Absolutely beautiful landscapes of snow
  • Children who enjoy the magic of the snow and can’t get enough of splashing around in the puddles in the parking lot (after cars have driven through it)
  • A warm abode to stay sheltered from the snowstorm
  • Feeling absolutely great at 36w3d pregnant (other than this minor head cold that is hanging on for dear life)
  • A husband who has cooked dinner almost every night this week because I was too exhausted/sick to do it

Busy Bee!!!

November 27, 2009

I think we are starting to feel down to the wire with this pregnancy. We put the crib together today, rearranged the furniture in the nursery to our liking, and I’ve started organizing things. Clothes are in the process of being washed and put up. Toys are also starting to get their own places and such 🙂

Just a few more weeks!