Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lovely Saturday

  Today was a special day for me because I had the day to myself.  That is such a rare event in my world.  I don't normally realize that I miss it until I get the opportunity to dissapear a bit and do my thing.  I took the day off from cooking...because my boys were out of town visiting with my husband's family.  I munched on things here, and had a big bowl of cereal for dinner :)  ....Cleanup was a sinch! Don't worry, the boys had some homecooked food Saturday from what I have been told!
Saturday was all about shopping!  I had so much fun taking my time, enjoying the sights and sales.  And, I was not shopping for anything related to the house.  I tried on shoes, tested perfumes, looked at jewlry and scarves, and I came away with a few good finds to remember the occaision.  I finished the evening by doing my grocery shopping.  It turned out to be the perfect time.  It was rainy outside, and the store was pretty calm.  I had the buggy to myself and all the time in the world.....I could enjoy grocery shopping this way!  I actually like the prettiness of the produce department.  It was fun picking out my eggplant.  Ahh...nice day.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 15...Ahhh No Groceries

So, I hit a bump today.  Today is grocery day and new menu day.  It was also Bible School and bill day.  I had my plan and my time carved out, but there was one big glitch...NO printer!!  So, I decided there was no way I was going to let this put a dent in my plans.  Me and baby Jack set off on a printer finding shopping trip.  Two stores later, a million toys to cry over, one really unfocused shopping buddy, and we finally had the printer.  Of course, we had to go home and set the printer up, download my lists and print them, then try and return to the store for the actual groceries.  One big problem...we never made it back out.  Call it frazzled, lazy, or just plain tired, but I just could not bring myself to hauling the two of us back to the car and attempt grocery shopping...again.  So, what was I to do??  I really had no back up plan....except a pizza in the freezer.  So, we ate at home as a family.  It was not from a restaurant, but it wasn't homemade or very nutritional.  Not the ideal, but it worked and it wasn't drive-thru-brown-bag-combo-upsized number three...so... I think it counts for today.  On to the store in the morning without baby Jack...as fun as that is. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 14 We Have Made it Two Weeks!!

To my Readers,
Thank you for your encouragement, tips, and ideas.  When I log in and begin a new post, I think of the faces and names that have left their comments and well wishes both here and on facebook.  I have so enjoyed sharing this journey with you all! Two weeks is a drop in the bucket, but I think we have crossed a milestone. 

Tomorrow brings another grocery day with my little fella and a new week full of new dishes to create.  Each meal is so much more than food.  It is a commitment to my family that I am doing all I can as mom to keep us happy, healthy, and strong.  Each dish is an opportunity for us to come around the table and just enjoy each other and the yummy food we are eating.  Most nights are nothing remarkable, but piled together they are sweet memories in the making. 

I would love to pull something warm and sweet from the oven and have each of you to the table.  We would pass the coffee and share our stories of food and family.  I think it would be a cozy place!  The invitation is always open...so is the front door.  Thanks so much for coming along. 

Sincerely,
          B Charmer


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 13 ...Lovely Thought....

So, this looks like a nice idea....hmmm somehow I think it will not quite pan out that way if tried in my kitchen!  However, I am trying to set some new dinner guidelines.  I have decided that we can all take our plates, clean them at the trash, and load them in the dishwasher.  I even tested out the three year old today, and he did it beautifully with only a wee bit of help!  So, maybe this dishapalooza that has been on display in my kitchen will stay under wraps! 
All in all, day 13 went well.  The kitchen is mostly clean, dinner was a hit, and we had a good time around the table.  The most yummy thing we had tonight was (Microwave) Oven Roasted Potatoes tossed with olive oil and onion soup mix.  It was unbelievably easy and so very delicious.  I had more than my fair share of that dish...oh but it was worth it! 




Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 12, Wow, Somebody Needs to Do Something About this Mess!

Twelve days of following a plan is a pretty big accomplishment in our house!  Every night,  I am getting the big question from my guys...what is for dinner?  NOT, where are we going for dinner?  It is a crazy ride being so focused on turning this train around.  I find myself wanting to cut corners sometimes like serve grilled cheese and chips.  While I am sure there will be many times when I will have to go simple, right now I am really aiming for healthy meals that do good things for our bodies. 

So, the funny thing about all this cooking is that I am getting to know my kitchen a whole lot better.  I have lots of things I do not really need, but one thing I think I am going to really start thinking about purchasing is a few new cookware pieces.  I just need some larger skillets.  I am cooking out of my starter set from single gal days.  It is a great set and has served me well, but I think it is time to upgrade a bit.  I think a shopping trip is in my future....

One really not so funny aspect of this experience is all the dirty dishes!!  I mean honestly, how do people do all the cooking and all the mommying and still have time to clean it all up?  I need some secrets here to help me tackle this monster in my kitchen.  Is there a trick or hypnotherapy or something magical involved to have the umph to get it all done?  Seriously, I could spend the largest part of my waking hours in that kitchen preparing then repairing the damage.  It gets a bit much at times.  There is always something I leave soaking in the sink, or something that needs rewashed after a failure in the dishwasher.  So, can a three year old do dishes....??  Oh, how I wished.....

Good night friends...and dishes that are still not ALL done...it is on to day 13


Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 11 Pickle-ini Anyone??

Whew...today was full, but nice.  Bible School this morning was a taste of what is to be very soon.  Singing and dancing with children all day!  School will be back in session quite shortly, and once again I will be making music with the kiddos.  I am already looking at Christmas Programs!  Any suggestions??

Day  11 brought baked chicken to our table tonight.  I think the heat is taking all our appetites.  It was tasty enough, but the pomegranate juice drink was the highlight tonight.  We continue to swelter in our little yellow house.  Ice cubes in cups last mere moments. I am convinced I could have successfully baked the chicken in our attic!  Hmmm....maybe tomorrow...

Our dinner entertainment was supplied tonight by none other than Jackson Douglas and the tales of the 3 year old chronicles.  He insisted tonight that we were eating hot pickles with tomatoes.  No matter my explanation that the pickles were really zucchinis, he was certain I was wrong.  After much debate, we settled on pickle-ini.  He would only eat them under their new given name.  I complied for the sake of nutrition --and for all the pickle-inis across the land on family tables tonight.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 10...Sunday Loving

Today was all about the good things.  Worship, Family, and Food were the rules today.  I love looking down the church pew at my family.  In our crowded pew, my little boy got to sing the songs with his family and his grandparents.  Its a nice beginning to every week.  Sometimes, I like to be quiet and just listen to the voices around me singing their hearts out.  It is a beautiful sound.

The challenge for today was definitely lunch.  We are accustomed to lunch on the town with the grandparents.  Today, I had to be ahead of the game.  I got up early, choose my meal ( hot club sandwich and Asian slaw), and went to work.  I blindly trusted my oven with an enormous task....doing the cooking while I was away.  The little bake-time feature on my oven is my new best friend.  I just tell it what time to start cooking, how long, and at what temperature.  I put the food in, and when I returned...voila! Perfectly done lunch.  It made me look very impressive!  I was able to serve a piping hot lunch to the whole family, in our dining room, minutes after church.  What restaurant can do that?  And...for pennies per person.  Can we say Cha Ching!!   I was quite thrilled.  I can't wait to see what my oven will make next Sunday.  Won't you join us for Sunday lunch?  We would love to have you.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 9 - Too Hot to Handle

Wow, bring on the heat.  It is nearly six in the evening and the temperature outside is well into the nineties.  Saturday's are a challenging food day.  We like to pick a restaurant as a family, and share a meal out on the weekends.  With the soaring temps both inside and out, it is looking pretty tempting.  Our AC is working super hard, and yet the house is stuck at a toasty 84.  Still, I will turn on the stove, and I will make pork chops.  (Notice the pep-talk I am giving myself?) I may melt in the process, but we shall have dinner in our home and under the fan!  I think I will wrap things up with some fresh local Carolina peaches for dessert. I might dip myself into the cool whip before it is all over with! So, what's for dinner at your house?  Happy Eating everyone!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 8 -2 pounds (Grocery Day....oh joy)

Well, we survived.  Two hours, two potty breaks, and one truck shaped buggy and we accomplished our goal.  It was a bit much, but I had to shop for other things as well as groceries.  Not to mention, I got a phone call that stalled me out in frozen foods for awhile.  We came home and plopped.  As I type,  my truck driving buggy man is still sleeping. 
This week's menu has several chicken dishes and lots of fruits and veggies.  I am so thrilled knowing that what I am putting into my family's bodies is something to be proud of.  No french fries and no questionable  meat-like chicken tenders  Even just eight days in, I truly feel better.  I have noticed a change in my energy, and I have noticed some change on the scale!!  Two pounds gone!! 
With all this money saving going on, I think this gal might do a bit of shopping.  I am going to buy some new cosmetics.  It is very sad that I cannot even remember the last time I bought anything like that. So here's to uncovering the gal I once was pre home destruction.  This is so much more than a change in our eating habits.  It is a change all around, and I for one am a happy girl.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 7....hard day

Today was hard, and I am weary.  My kitchen looks like it has been overtaken by the dishes, my child spilled the most red kool aid ever all over my white carpet, and I wasn't feeling like meatloaf. BUT, I made meatloaf.  It was tasty, and I got to teach Jackson how to use the veggie peeler.  We all sat down together at the table and Jackson told his daddy all about his peeling skills.  Mission accomplished for today.

Tomorrow is grocery day, and honestly I am looking forward to it because I have a plan. I must say that grocery shopping to me is usually the equivalent of a dentist appointment. Actually, I don't mind the dentist compared to groceries.   I just get frustrated, I am not a fan of our local stores, and the prices are insane.  I have tried coupons, but I find myself buying strange things just because they are on sale.  So, I am learning how crucial planning is.  I know...where have I been?  Any idiot knows they should plan before they go to the market, but my brain has been elsewhere.  Now, let me tell you, I can whip around a Lowes or an Ikea like a crazy lady.  I can name prices, give stock updates, and some model numbers...ridiculous.  I know all about tile grades and carpet nap.  But ...put me in the grocery store and I look and feel like a fish out of water.  It is painful.  BUT...there is hope.  I have a plan, again thanks to E Mealz...along with a concise list of what to by according to the isle. It has changed my tune a bit.  Yet, I know tomorrow will be frustrating still, I just have to get used to it!  If I start learning model numbers for Bisquick or something...I might need an intervention. And now to the dishes.........

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

365 days NO Restaurants!! Day 6

One of my biggest challenges is food.  It is like the big ole never ending chore.  I used to love cooking and spending time in the kitchen.  Somewhere in the whole process of the house destruction...I mean reconstruction, I lost that passion.  It was just another thing to do, mess to clean, and time away from a project.  Well, NOT ANY MORE!!  I have been saying that I would shrink to half my size if I eliminated french fries from my diet....so here's to seeing if that really is true!  Our family is going on a restaurant diet...no more eating out for one whole year!  Yep, I said it, one whole year.  The only exception we will possibly allow is if we are out of town.  Thanks to my wonderful friend Heather L.,  who shared E Mealz with me, I am finding this task to be a bit easier.  They have a great website that gives all the info.  So far, we are only on day 6.  These past six days have been fun and messy, but we have eaten as a family for 6 days straight!  And we are soooo saving money in the process.  Tonight, we are having Hot Hoppin John!  It is a black-eyed-pea and rice dish....hope its tasty!!


Starting Fresh

It has been a bit since I have posted. I have been on a sort of epic journey to chart a new course for our family. If you have ever tried to exhume a historic house with limited funds...you probably know the distress of living in the chaos of it all. We have lived in this home four years now. Four years of paint cans in the kitchen, molding in the laundry room, power tools in the corner, and saw dust in the air. Four years of moving the ladder from room to room, caulk guns for toys, and paint stirrers for paddles. Piles of things and trips to the dump...and yet there seems to be more, more, more always waiting to be done. Most days, it seems like it has been about 3 lifetimes...but then there are times where I find myself questioning the time. It has been a trial of endurance and persistence. It has been all consuming, and many things have fallen to the wayside just because home has been a continual project...not a peaceful place to land. Most days, all I can see are the things that still need finished...or started. Relaxing seems like a guilty pleasure when there are to-do lists hiding in every corner. So many things have been neglected. I have decided to put all of my summer efforts into finishing the dangling projects so that I can get back the life that I need and that my family needs.

Here is my list of things I want back in my life:
1. A Social Life...truly feeling like I or the family can go out, and not worry about how we should have done this or that or used the money for wire or something. I want to enjoy having people over...not feeling like I have to put up signs that say "pardon the mess."

2. Pursuing the Passions...I want to shop again for pretty things like scarves and necklaces instead of shelving and grout. I want to take time getting ready everyday and feel youthful again...not like some old woman leaving the road crew at the end of the day. And...I want to do something fun again like a dance class or Yoga. I want my husband to play his guitar again and take me to concerts. Bring back the passions we both have that we put somewhere out in the garage under a tarp.

3. Healthier Living...no more take out drive thru window eating! I want home cooked meals...in my kitchen, with my family...oh and at the table! I want my family to remember how well I can cook, and how much I enjoy doing it. I want to feel good about what we are eating and feel wise about the money spent on food.

So...that is it..in a nutshell. So, my blog now represents a place for me to come and chart my course of getting it back! I am going to post daily...something...anything...to help keep me on track with my goals for one year. B Charmer will be my place to hold myself accountable to becoming more than a construction worker! Thanks for joining me on the journey!

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